Top oilseed yields in 2019 were record-breakers and cereal yields were only just short of the records achieved in 2015.
Entrants established excellent crops with better shoot numbers than ever in spring. Despite dull summer weather in 2019 hampering full realisation of this potential, entrants achieved high proportions of their crops’ potentials. Winning yields exceeded 16 t/ha with cereals and 7 t/ha with oilseeds, double the UK average farm yields achieved with these crops.
Prof Roger Sylvester-Bradley, ADAS’s Head of Crop Performance, who leads the YEN, said “the UK is not only blessed with a productive climate, but with some smart farmers and excellent support industry. YEN farms regularly produce yields that – in terms of energy conversion – far exceed those in other climates with more solar energy to exploit. The best YEN yields have been almost double the national average. The challenge now is to pinpoint how such farms sustain these high yields. YEN data show that this has little to do with high use of fertilisers and chemicals and much more to do with inspired soil and crop husbandry, plus attention to detail.”
When presenting the YEN awards, Nick Poole from the Foundation for Arable Research in Australia, congratulated the YEN and all its participants in both achieving such yields and, more importantly, in making sense of them, so that they can see how to make further progress.