Heavy wheat crop goal for Knapdale farmer

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Knapdale farmer Blair McKenzie has his eyes set on gaining a heavy wheat crop.
It is a long-term goal for the sheep and grain farmer.
The heaviest wheat record is held by the United Kingdom at 16.7 tonnes.
He said the worldwide record was held in New Zealand in 2014 but was lost in 2015.
Mr McKenzie and his wife Mel live on a farm consisting of 50% crop and 50% sheep, with about 70 cattle during winter.
They grow barley, wheat and oats and have Coopworth-Texel-cross ewes and Friesian bulls.
The 230ha farm, with 2219 sheep, 320 hoggets and about 300 2-tooths, is in equity partnership with Graham Gardyne, of Chatton.
The pair have been running the farm for 10 years.
The couple also have two lease blocks: 151ha at Chatton, owned by Alan McVicar, and 65ha at Otama, owned by Mike Solari.
The oats are sold to Harraways and the rest of the grain is supplied to Gardyne Grain.
The farm’s lamb numbers fluctuate between 2000 and 2500, depending on the year.
Mr McKenzie travelled to Britain before he returned to Southland.
He worked on a crop farm in Birmingham and Telford.
‘‘It was a big cropping farm there,’’ he said.
He also went to Chester for nine months.
Mr McKenzie grew up in West Otago on his father’s farm and moved to Knapdale 18 years ago.
‘‘I enjoy the versatility of not doing the same thing day in and day out,’’ he said.
Mr McKenzie said there were a lot of changes ahead for farming.
Rules and regulations would be one to consider.
‘‘You can get through it [rules and regulations] but it seems to be getting tighter and tighter every time.’’