Timaru farmer attempts barley world record

A Timaru farmer has made an attempt to beat the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the highest barley yield.

The world record attempt took place on Friday 23 January with a yield of 13.8 metric tonnes per hectare with the Blackman Agriculture bred variety 776.

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 Exclusive Grain Group, along with key partners and suppliers to Poplar Grove Farm, came together to support the Darling’s world record attempt. “It is a great feat for the Darlings and for us all who have come together at various parts of the grain production supply chain to make this happen” said Exclusive Grain Group spokesperson and Canterbury seeds manager Craig Noonan.

“We have been all very much involved in the lead up to the attempt and were there on the day to lend a hand with keeping a track of the weight records – these then had to be verified by a Justice of the Peace” said Noonan.

“Samples were independently drawn and analysed for quality by SGS New Zealand before being submitted to GWR in the United Kingdom who are currently reviewing the attempt.”

He concluded: “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.”

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