Renewable Farming

245-bu. winter wheat yield recognized in Guinness World Records

Rod Smith of Northumberland County in northeast England raised 16.52 metric tons per hectare on his farm near the Scottish border last summer, and the Guinness Book of World Records has accepted this as a new world record. That translates to 245 bushels per acre.

That yield nudges out a New Zealand yield by Mike Solari, who farms on the southern tip of the South Island.

Farmers Weekly has a brief report on the record at this link.

A more detailed description of Smith’s production strategy is on Farmers Weekly at this link.

Probably less than one out of five U.S. wheat growers do any foliar feeding. Most of those in Britain and the EU keep spraying wheat all spring and into the summer until maturity. In the Farmers Weekly photo below, note that the field has what the Brits call “tram lines” or sprayer tracks where foliar feeding with a wide-boom sprayer occurs throughout the season.

The production report on Rod Smith’s 245-bu. wheat crop emphasizes how he kept it growing and adding density well beyond normal senescence.

1. Abundant nitrogen in the soil. Wheat seeding in fall 2014 followed a spring bean crop.

2. Several foliar feedings which included plant growth promotants and fungicides. Stalks averaged 36 grains per head in July.

3. Nitrogen was applied at four points in the season, not all at once.


Rod Smith harvesting wheat Photo courtesy of Farmers Weekly