Wheat School: Do You Farm in a High-Yield or Low-Yield Wheat Zone?

Do you grow wheat in a high-yield or low-yield part of the world?

A farmer in the UK set the new record for world wheat yield in 2015, growing 16.52 tonnes per hectare or 246 bushels per acre. He broke the previous record of 233 bushels per acre set in New Zealand in 2010.

In this Wheat School episode, RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson offers a challenge to wheat growers in Canada who get roughly the same amount of sunlight as the record-setters in the British Isles and New Zealand.

“Harvesting sunshine is really what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to harvest sunlight and turn it into grain,” he explains.

From a solar energy perspective, Red Deer and Saskatoon are at the same latitude as the record-holder in the UK, while Johnson’s farm at Lucan, Ontario is in line with the latitude where earlier records were set in New Zealand.

“Yeah, we have to worry about moisture and high temperatures, but we get the sunlight to be a high-yield district,” he says.

As pointed out in this earlier episode, yields surpassing 120 bushels per acre are not uncommon in the UK. Wheat Pete believes Canadian wheat growers could achieve the same levels of production.

“We are high-yield. Let’s get there, let’s figure it out and let’s not waste any of that resource,” he says.