Cary, N.C. (April 06, 2016)
United Kingdom wheat producer Rod Smith and a passenger in his combine couldn’t believe what the yield monitor on their tracked New Holland 9070 combine was telling them as they crawled along at 1.5 Km./Hr. trying to cope with harvesting a very heavy grain load – the monitor was showing over 23 T./Ha. (one hectare equals 2.471 acres).
“We had to take a picture of the yield monitor to prove our eyes weren’t deceiving us,” Smith said. “This field had a history of high yields, but we’d never seen these sort of peaks before.” When the combine dust had cleared over the 11.259-hectare field, Smith and his father, James, and wife, Vicky, had harvested 16.52 T./Ha. (249.6 Bu./A), shattering the previous wheat yield title holder, New Zealander Mike Solari’s 15.64 T./Ha.
The Smith’s Beal Farm is located in Northumberland near the Scottish border overlooking Holy Island. Its record-breaking yield was set by a Dickens variety grown for Master Seeds. And, with a total input cost of under 46 British Lbs./T., the crop generated a gross margin of over 1000 British Lbs./Ha. ($1,411.26 U.S./Ha. or $571.33 U.S./A.) at a feed wheat price of 110 British Lbs./T. – and this before accounting for the extra returns from a seed crop.
The Beal Farm agronomy team was assisted by agronomists at agricultural retailer Agrii as a part of its British 15-Tonnes Project born out of Agrii research and development and designed to help farmers push wheat yield boundaries. “Our initial focus was on soil management,” Smith explained. “We used tracked equipment, effective subsoiling, rotational plowing, furrow incorporation and the application of 500 T./Ha. of muck annually. We also relied on soil testing and broad-spectrum tissue analyses.”
The Dickens wheat variety was drilled the third week of September in 2014 into an excellent seedbed established by two diskings and a cultipress. With excellent soil moisture, the wheat established really well and evenly, Smith said.
“An autumn application of Nutri-Phite PGA to promote rooting ensured the most efficient nutrient uptake,” he continued. “This enabled us to apply the extra foliar manganese, copper, zinc, boron and magnesium the crop needed as determined by tissue analyses ahead of each spray application. In addition to the tremendous yield, the value of this prescriptive nutrition was clear in a bushel weight of fully 82 Kg./Hl.”
Also assisting the record-breaking yield were four split nitrogen applications – two of which involved stabilized urea – and four fungicide sprays. “Using the very latest in crop protection, nutrition and micronutrient technology really made a difference,” Smith said.
Nutri-Phite® PGA is a patented technology developed by Verdesian Life Sciences. Nutri-Phite is an organic acid that stimulates flowering and cell division and works through a systemic pathway to help plants build stronger immune systems and resist various stressors. One of the strengths of Nutri-Phite PGA is its tank-mix compatibility, and this product was applied in a tank mix with a broadleaf herbicide and insecticide on The Beal Farm.
The Nutri-Phite PGA technology is available to U.S. farmers under the brand name Take Off® and can be applied via soil, seed treatment and foliar treatments.
“Getting crop yields up to the level achieved by The Beal Farm will be of supreme importance if farmers are going to be able to feed a global population of 9 billion by 2030,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer for Verdesian. “Just as crop yield records set in, say, the 1970s and 1980s are the norm today, so will be the record yields set today in the future.”
Further information about Verdesian is available at vlsci.com.
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