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YEN Awards 2018

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UK farmer defies science with his high yielding rye crop in the 2018 drought

The Yield Enhancement Network Competition attracted more entrants than ever in 2018. At the YEN Awards Conference on Thursday 22nd November top yields were around 16 t/ha for cereals and over 6 t/ha for oilseeds and, despite the drought, one crop of rye broke the YEN yield-gap record by achieving 103% of its site potential! The rooting depth of this crop must have exceeded anything that ADAS scientists thought was possible.  

Speaking at the YEN awards at Harrogate, Jane King, CEO of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, emphasised the importance of enhancing productivity on UK farms and congratulated ADAS and all the YEN’s participants and sponsors for forging this highly successful network. Jane then presented awards to the winners, as follows:

Cereals

Best Field Yield t/ha

• GOLD: Tim Lamyman, of Lincolnshire, sponsored by Hutchinsons 16.2
• SILVER: Tim Lamyman, of Lincolnshire sponsored by Limgrain UK 15.4
• BRONZE: David Hoyles of Lincolnshire, Independent entry 14.1

Best % of Potential Yield – fields % of t/ha

• GOLD: Andrew Hunt, of Norwich, sponsored by Hutchinsons 103% of 10.9
• SILVER: Donald Ross of Ross-shire, sponsored by AHDB 98% of 10.8
• BRONZE: Mark McCallum of Ross-shire, sponsored by AHDB 96% of 11.5

Best Plot Yield t/ha

• GOLD: Mark Doble in Oxfordshire, sponsored by BASF 14.8
• SILVER: Jack Hill in Lincolnshire, sponsored by Bayer 13.1
• BRONZE: John Keer in Lincolnshire, sponsored by Hutchinsons 12.1

Best % of Potential Yield – plots % of t/ha

• GOLD: Mark Doble in Oxfordshire, sponsored by BASF 99% of 15.0
• SILVER: Vibeke Fabricius in Odder, Denmark 87% of 11.8
• BRONZE: Ben Giles in Oxfordshire, sponsored by Bayer 66% of 17.5

Oilseeds

Best Field Yield t/ha

• GOLD: Tim Lamyman of Lincolnshire, sponsored by Hutchinsons 6.4
• SILVER: Alan Clifton-Holt of Romney Marsh, sponsored by Adama 6.2
• BRONZE: John Billington of Stafford, sponsored by AHDB 5.9

Best % of Potential Yield – fields % of t/ha

• GOLD: Soren Lykkegaard Hansen of Denmark, sponsored by Monsanto 66% of 6.9
• SILVER: Chris Wood of North Yorkshire, independent entry 60% of 8.6
• BRONZE: Tim Lamyman of Lincolnshire, sponsored by Hutchinsons 52% of 12.3

Best Plot Yield seed, t/ha

• GOLD: Michael Farr in Oxfordshire, sponsored by DSV 5.2
• SILVER: Michael Farr in Wiltshire, sponsored by DSV 4.8

Best % of Potential Yield – plots % of t/ha

• GOLD: Michael Farr in Oxfordshire, sponsored by DSV 43% of 12.0
• SILVER: Michael Farr in Wiltshire, sponsored by DSV 40% of 12.1

Innovation Awards (entrants recommended for their bright ideas) went to:
Innovator of the Year

• Jamie Leslie of Scholland Farm, Shetland
….for initiating the Shetland Monitor Farm Barley Group, and achieving a 43% increase over local long term barley yields

Commendations for Innovation

• Jon Birchall of Rea Farm, Upton Magna, Shrewsbury
…. for developing a system to spatially target N fertiliser
• Craig Norrie of Banchory Farm, Kirkcaldy
…. for publicising in-season progress of his first YEN entry to engender local interest
• James Hopkinson of Lindertis, Kirriemuir
• …. for completely rethinking an arable system in Angus to reduce inputs and utilise livestock

New Competitions in 2018

Barley

Best Field Yield t/ha

• GOLD: Hugo Lee of Jedburgh, sponsored by AHDB 8.2

Best % of Potential Yield % of t/ha

• GOLD: Jamie Leslie of Shetland, sponsored by AHDB 58% of 13.6

Cereal YEN – Regional Awards for field entries

For the Highest Yield in t/ha

  • Scotland: David Fuller of Coldstream, sponsored by Bayer 11.9
  • Northern: Richard Brewis of Alnwick, sponsored by Hutchinsons 13.1
  • East Midlands: Tim Lamyman of Louth, sponsored by Hutchinsons 16.2
  • East Anglia: Andrew Melton of Cambs., sponsored by Hutchinsons 13.5
  • The West: Andrew Williamson of Shropshire, sponsored by Bayer 11.5
  • South East: David Passmore of Oxfordshire, independent entry 14.0
  • South West: Howard Emmett of Cornwall, sponsored by AHDB 10.3
  • Outside the UK: Olivier Delay of Moudon, Switzerland, supported by Fenaco 11.6

For the best % of Potential Yield in % of t/ha

  • Scotland: Donald Ross of Cromarty, sponsored by AHDB 98% of 10.8
  • Northern: Richard Brewis of Alnwick, sponsored by Hutchinsons 74% of 17.7
  • East Midlands: Tim Lamyman of Louth, sponsored by Hutchinsons 90% of 18.0
  • East Anglia: Andrew Hunt of Norwich, sponsored by Hutchinsons 103% of 10.9
  • The West: Mark Swift of Stafford, sponsored by Hutchinsons 64% of 15.8
  • South East: David Passmore of Oxfordshire, independent entry 86% of 16.4
  • South West: Howard Emmett of Cornwall, sponsored by AHDB 81% of 12.8
  • Outside the UK: Soren Anderson of Spottrup, Denmark, supported by DLA 67% of 12.5

Prof Roger Sylvester-Bradley, ADAS’s Head of Crop Performance, who leads the Cereal YEN, said “yields this year were surprisingly good, given the drought. Some farms are regularly producing exceptional yields, and the whole industry needs to learn from what they are doing”.
Dr Sarah Kendall, ADAS Senior Research Scientist, pointed out that best yields in the Oilseed YEN were almost double the national average, and said “after our analysis of this year’s yields, it appears that most oilseed crops set a very high seed number and could have achieved even greater yields if they had been able to fill the seeds for longer”.

The average yield of all YEN wheat crops in 2018 was 10.3 t/ha, less than in all five previous YEN Competitions. However, almost all YEN yields exceeded the national average and, as Prof Sylvester-Bradley says “the YEN is now mining its expanding treasure-trove of data, so that all YEN participants – both farmers and sponsors – can gauge where best to target their efforts”.


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