Challenges of a world record attempt

Achieving a world wheat record is a challenge on many fronts.

Of course there is the current yield to exceed but that isn’t all. In fact, in some respects this is the easy part, the crop either performs or it doesn’t!

The challenge comes from ensuring all of the rigorous processes put in place by Guinness are followed to the letter. These processes are there for a reason, to prevent spurious claims being made, but make no mistake, they are challenging.

The record attempt has to start with the paddock being surveyed before even the first seed is planted. Then follows the uploading of regular photographic updates to the Guinness website throughout the year.

Eric and Maxine Watson World Record Wheat Bayer

Along with this, a comprehensive record of all applications needs to made along with the factors that were considered when reaching decisions about the agrochemicals and nutrients to be applied.

On the day the attempt is made, a small army of helpers, both in a professional and volunteer capacity, are required to ensure every single minute of the attempt is filmed and can be accounted for. Guinness even request that when batteries are changed in a camera a backup camera is used to ensure and unbroken film record is available.

Then in the days following the attempt there is a significant effort required to co-ordinate and submit the support documentation through to Guinness.

For this attempt, until the final yields were available, the team had to work on the thought that the next crop to be harvest could be the record crop. And so with four paddocks submitted, everything had to be multiplied by a factor of four.

It took Bayer 4-5 weeks to pull everything together, to render the videos (just condensing 6 hours of harvest filming in two locations, the paddock and yard, into a 30 minute video to provide to Guinness was a challenge!), to check the paperwork and to meet the team to ensure everything was accurate.

Then the submission was made and Bayer relaxed. Experience suggested the world record would take 4-6 weeks to be ratified by Guinness. What a surprise then for the fantastic news to arrive from Guinness in just two days that Eric and Maxine had been awarded the world wheat record. A great example of the benefits of thorough planning and preparation.

Eric and Maxine Watson World Record Wheat Bayer