Date: 01/2023

A crop of DSV Champion winter wheat grown by UK producer Tim Lamyman at his Worlaby Farm, Lincolnshire, in 2022 has been confirmed as the official Guinness World Record for wheat yield.


The 17.96t/ha crop beat the existing 17.40t/ha world record achieved in New Zealand in 2020 and was very much the result of a focused team collaboration, Tim Lamyman says.

"Having looked at the amazing all-round disease attributes of DSV Champion in 2020, Robert Lamyman decided we should try it that year. Unfortunately we drilled it way too thinly.

"Despite achieving only 83 plants/m2 at establishment, the crop recovered amazingly and went on to produce up to 20 tillers/plant achieving a yield of 15t/ha at harvest 2021.

"We knew the potential was there, especially with the special agronomic programme developed by Frontier and BASF and the Bionature smart nutrition thinking we had used for the crop.

“For 2022 the collaboration decided Champion had the variety specific high yield traits we were looking for to push the UK wheat yields to new boundaries.”


Clear potential

According to DSV Champion's breeder Dr. Matt Kerton, the variety's potential was clearly visible from an early stage in its breeding journey.

"Our objective is to screen breeding lines very hard for both yield and disease resistance using a range of sites across the UK and beyond.

"The breeding process for DSV Champion started in 2012 and its outstanding yield potential was clear as soon as we started trials from 2016 onwards.

"But as the selection process continued, its exceptional disease resistance package and versatility were also increasingly in evidence.

"Furthermore, it performed well in a range of growing situations, including early or late drilling and on heavy or light soils, and it is this real-world combination of high outright yield, flexibility and strong agronomics that has made it so popular."

DSV's UK breeding programme, based in Wardington, Oxfordshire, continues with the latest RL addition being DSV Oxford, but there is much more in the pipeline, he adds.

"It's been an exciting journey to reach this point and it's great to see DSV Champion do so well in growers' fields as well as taking the world record for yield.

"But it's very much a team effort with key players such as Michael Koch in our molecular laboratory, Graham Urquhart on the maintenance and agronomy side and Cindy Watts in grain quality, being fundamental to this achievement.

"As for the future, our focus is still very much on yield, practicality and disease resistance but other key traits such as improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) and drought tolerance are increasingly in our sights."


Recipe for success

Tim Lamyman says the world beating crop of DSV Champion was drilled on the 22nd September at 125kg/ha and on 24th September at 150kg/ha with Vibrance Duo seed dressing.

"This was still 20% below our standard rate to take account of Champion's fantastic ability to keep tillering. By February 2022 both crops looked on target to achieve the perfect 600 to 650 heads/m2."

A full agronomy programme featuring Chlormequat, Toledo, Modus, Revystar, Mysea, Syrex, Xstress, Calflux, Proline and Azofin Plus, was implemented over the year with particular attention paid to crop nutrition, he expains

"Our aim is to adjust fertiliser strategy to the weather experienced through the winter and how much moisture is in the ground at the time of the first application. 

"Due to the last three springs being dryer than average, we have applied three or four even splits of Nitrogen but this changes back to five even splits if we are experiencing a wetter than average spring. 

"For 2022's Champion crops we applied 3 x 103.5 Kg/N totalling 310.5kg N/ha of bagged Nitrogen. By applying some Bionature Delta K, to activate the root structures, and TipTop, the total N applied to the crop came to 314kg N/ha.

"The Bionature smart nutrition program was specifically tailored to the Champion as it is such a high tillering and high biomass variety with an almost unique ability to still produce phenomenally long ears (15 cm plus) even at over 600 heads/m2.

In the end it was the higher seed rate crop that produced the highest yield and this also delivered a specific weight of 83.2kg/hectolitre, Tim adds.

"It has been a fantastic experience working within a collaboration team, who have all helped achieve these fantastic yields.

"I have to give a special thank you to my hard-working farm - Andy McClung, David Marwood, Sarah, Robert and Emma Lamyman - and also to Ed Smith, from A. W. Smiths and sons for putting up with us running over their weighbridge all the time.

"Our technical team also pushed the sheer yield ability of DSV Champion and we must thank Jeremy Nicolson, Ben Meade, David Robinson and Paul Fogg from Frontier, Andrew Smooker from BASF, Mark Carter and Tom Robinson from Bionature UK and Barnaby Pratchett from GFP."