Currently there is limited understanding of why wheat yield differs between farms and between years and why it is not improving. Larger volumes of high-quality data holds the key to understanding this phenomena and improving performance
“Agrimetrics will provide us with the ability to interact with the users, get the data online and link it to soil and weather datasets…We will also be able to model the data and improve the ability to identify factors that improve the yield
— Daniel Kindred, ADAS
Currently there is limited understanding of why wheat yield differs between farms and between years and why it is not improving.
The UK average yield for wheat is 8 tonnes a hectare, and has been for 20 years or more, but the 2015 AHDB variety trials showed that some farmers were able to achieve 16 tonnes per hectare.
The Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) was established to discover the factors that influence yield – is it the soil, the region, the weather, or farmer skill? What are individual decisions being made about the crop that really matter?
YEN aims to narrow the gap between the actual yield attained and the theoretical potential yield.
The maximum biophysical capability – yield attainable with the available light and water – is around 20 tonnes per hectare. But how much is actually achievable in the real world depends on the local conditions and this is called the potential yield. YEN is able to calculate the potential yield for each field and is using this as part of a challenge to encourage farmers to optimise the yield on their land.