New Zealand farmers harvest world record wheat crop

By on April 3, 2017


Eric and Maxine Watson entered the Guinness World Records after producing 16.791 tons of wheat per hectare, beating the previous record of 16.519 tons set by a British farmer in 2015. (Photo: Shaun Dunmall/ Flickr)
Eric and Maxine Watson entered the Guinness World Records after producing 16.791 tons of wheat per hectare, beating the previous record of 16.519 tons set by a British farmer in 2015. (Photo: Shaun Dunmall/ Flickr)

WELLINGTON –A New Zealand farming couple have taken the world record for the highest yielding crop of wheat, it was announced Monday.

Eric and Maxine Watson entered the Guinness World Records after producing 16.791 tons of wheat per hectare, beating the previous record of 16.519 tons set by a British farmer in 2015.

On average, irrigated wheat yields in New Zealand were around 12 tons per hectare, the couple said in a statement.

The crop was planted on April 9 last year at their farm in Ashburton, just south of Christchurch in the South Island, and harvested in February this year.

The record would bring recognition for New Zealand’s arable farming industry, Eric Watson said in the statement.

“It’s very small, but there are some good farmers out there and it’s good to have the record back in New Zealand again,” he said.

“It is an exceptional yield, but I could always do better and that’s my aim. There were things I saw when I was out there in the combine harvester and I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do this a whole lot better’.”

The Watsons bought their 490-hectare farm in 1992 and grow a wide range of crops for seed production, including cereals, grasses, vegetables and pulses.