Bayer CropScience’s crop protection solutions have helped a New Zealand farming couple break the world record yield for barley. Warren and Joy Darling, from Timaru in the country’s South Island, produced 13.8 tonnes per hectare, easily breaking the previous record of 12.2 tonnes held by Scottish grower Stockton Park since 1989. The new record was officially ratified by Guinness World Records on April 15 after the crop was harvested on January 23.

In New Zealand, the average yield for winter barley, the type grown by the Darlings, is about 9.5 tonnes per hectare. The new record of 13.8 tonnes is a massive 45 percent more than the average yield. Weeds, pests and diseases, soil fertility, drought and extreme weather are challenges that are well known to New Zealand’s farmers.

Dr. Holger Detje, Bayer New Zealand Managing Director and Head of Bayer CropScience in New Zealand. “We are particularly pleased that our innovative crop protection solutions safeguarded this magnificent barley crop, which has resulted in a world record yield.”

“We are already the market leader in crop protection products for cereals, the world’s most important staple crop,” said Hartmut van Lengerich, Head of Crop Strategy and Portfolio Management for Cereals, Rice and Fungicides at Bayer CropScience. He stressed that feeding the more than 9 billion people who will live on this planet in 2050 is one of the world’s biggest challenges. “This challenge drives global agriculture and our industry. We have mapped out a comprehensive 10-year plan to invest EUR 1.5 billion in the research and development of new solutions for cereals through 2020, encompassing both seeds and crop protection products in wheat, the world’s main cereal crop, as one example of the long-term nature of our business.”

Bayer CropScience has a strong presence in New Zealand agriculture. The company offers customers a sophisticated portfolio of products that help farmers to safeguard their harvests, enhance grain quality and increase yields in a sustainable manner: fungicides which help control a wide range of pathogens with different modes of action, herbicides delivering solutions for the key grass and dicot weeds and services for resistance management, and insecticidal solutions to protect grain from post-harvest losses. Furthermore, powerful seed treatment products marketed under the strong Bayer Seed Growth competence brand get crops off to the healthiest possible start, help them become strongly established and produce outstanding yield benefits at harvest.

“The entire organization is very proud that innovations from Bayer have set the foundation for this amazing record. Bayer CropScience provided the entire seed treatment, weed and disease control program, including our newly launched fungicide Aviator Xpro,· Detje added. “Other key products included the seed treatment products Poncho and Raxil, and our Firebird and Hussar herbicides. I’m confident that with our broad portfolio of crop protection solutions, we will see even higher yields in future.”

Agriculture and crop productivity are mainly driven by agronomic improvements and technology advances. To help leverage the potential of modern agriculture in order to enhance the quality of life for farmers, communities and society, collaboration and partnerships are key.

“Many factors determine the success of a great crop like barley – soil, climate, technologically advanced farming machinery as well as farm inputs like the seed variety, nutrients and crop protection solutions,” Detje explained. “When the suppliers of these specialized inputs collaborate with skilled farmers like Warren you see very healthy crops with excellent yields. The realization of the barley world record shows that New Zealand farmers are among the best in the world.”