Highest barley yield: Timaru farmer sets world record (VIDEO)
TIMARU, New Zealand -- Timaru growers Warren and Joy Darling have been growing barley for more than 30 years and were inspired to set a world record at their Poplar Grove Farm this season after last year harvesting 11.5 tonnes a hectare; the record attempt took place on January 23 with a yield of 13.8t/ha from the Blackman Agriculture bred variety 776, which sets the new world record for the Highest barley yield,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: The Darling family, Warren and Joy flanked by son Craig, right, and Warren's father George with sons Andrew, left, and Brad and Andrew's partner Amy on the header, in the record barley crop field at their Poplar Grove Farm near Timaru. Photo: Manuel Czepok (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the highest wheat yield is 15.636 tonnes/ha (34,471.48 lbs/ha or 232.64 bushels/acre) and was harvested from 8.869 ha (21.9 acres) by Mike Solari (New Zealand) on his farm in Otama, Gore, New Zealand, on 8 march 2010. Mike Solari broke his own record.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the most spring barley seed planted in 24 hours; it is 74,347 kg (163,907 lb) covering an area of 571.9 ha (1,431 acres) by an unmodified AGCO Challenger MT865 tractor pulling an 18.35 m (60 ft) wide Horsch seeder at a Agro-Soyuz farm in the Sinelnikovo region, Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine from 23-24 April 2003. At 500 horse power, the Challenger MT865 tractor is considered the world's largest production tractor. The record was set on just two fields, one having runs up to 4.5 km (2.8 miles) long and the other up to 2.5 km (1.55 miles) long. The average work rate was 57.8 acres/hr (23.4 ha/hr). The team behind the record hope that the crop of Prerea spring barley will yield 3.5-4 t/ha, compared with the average yield of 2.3 t/ha. 211 tonnes of fertiliser was used.
"The previous world record was 12.2 metric tonnes and in January we took the cuts to get the yield and realised we were close to bettering the record. We did not know until 10 days prior to harvest that we were near it. The 776 has been the highest-producing barley yield."
Timaru locals Warren and Joy Darling have been growing and harvesting barley for more than 30 years. Each season they aim to produce their highest possible yield – in 2014 Poplar Grove Farm had an outstanding season harvesting 11.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
Completely unaware of how close they came to breaking the world record, the 2014 yield became the catalyst for attempting the world record. Darling said Timaru's weather has had a big part to play in their tremendous success.
"Since we are on the coast we get the right mix of weather for the high yield. There's a lot of rain in the winter to carry us through to spring, and we don't get those high temperatures in summer."
The couple were supported by suppliers in the record attempt and the Exclusive Grain Group run by Canterbury Seed with United Kingdom wheat breeder John Blackman to develop wheat and barley cultivars bred for New Zealand growing conditions.
The group assisted the Darlings by lending a hand with keeping track of the weight records which had to be firstly verified by a Justice of the Peace.
"The opportunity to achieve world record status is incredible" said Darling. "It is outstanding that the South Canterbury region of New Zealand has the potential to be recognised on the global stage for growing world record breaking crops".
Participating companies in the World Record attempt include the Exclusive Grain Group (Blackman Agriculture UK and Canterbury Seed), Agronomy Solutions, Balance Agri-Nutrients, Bayer CropScience, CLAAS Harvest Centre Canterbury, Power Farming Timaru and Rabobank.