Agronomy plots to showcase 22 wheat varieties in 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 3.33.43 PM

HMFD director Daryl Thomson, Culcairn, Aaron Giason and Geoff Baker, Baker Seed Co, Rutherglen, and HMFD chairman Ross Edwards, Yerong Creek, inspect the new wheat trials.

Grain growers will be able to inspect 22 wheat varieties, including a potential replacement for Wedgetail, at the agronomy plots at this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days.

The Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative has partnered with Rutherglen company Baker Seed Co to present the latest wheat varieties for field day patrons.

Baker Seed Co sales and business development manager Aaron Giason said the one hectare agronomy site would complement the fully replicated trial sites at Rutherglen used to identify elite germplasm within breeding programs.

“It will be an opportunity for growers to take a break from the buying part of Henty to look at varieties in comparison to what they have got in the paddock, what’s new coming through, and have a talk with the breeders and seed companies,’’ Mr Giason said.

He said Baker Seed Co had been involved with the field days as exhibitors for several years, displaying their product range and services.

“Henty is one of the most popular field days in the country and it has been a great opportunity for us to access a lot of our client base and showcase what we do,’’ Mr Giason said.

“The agronomy plots are what we are all about – hands-on and assessing varieties in their true form.

“The idea of Henty is to not only be a demonstration site but potentially extract data on dry matter and different grazing capabilities of varieties.’’

Mr Giason said the demonstration plots gave farmers the chance to “touch and feel’’ the new cereal varieties.

“Due to some of the rotational issues, we have tried to make it a base with clover sown around the wheat trial so in future years we can incorporate other species, particularly canola, barley, oats and wheat,’’ he said.

A base of Riverina sub and Super Haifa clover has established well at the Henty site.

“Due to the herbicide options available, we left it as a simple legume mix,’’ Mr Giason said.

“Over 0.4ha we have planted a wheat trial of 22 varieties to demonstrate what’s new coming through the system compared to the benchmark popular varieties of Wedgetail and Gregory.’’

Mr Giason said a drawcard would be the inclusion of replacement varieties for Wedgetail and Gregory.

“They will be named coming into Henty and it will be an exciting opportunity for these varieties to shine,’’ he said.

“After several years of going to Henty, at least every second grower would ask if there is a replacement for Wedgetail and Gregory.

“Wedgetail is 15-years-old and still hard to outclass so to produce a variety with quality and disease resistance is definitely the Holy Grail in the breeding world.

“We are confident there is material planted at Henty that will be replacing Wedgetail.’’

Henty Machinery Field Days chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the management of the agronomy plots by Baker Seed Co would be a drawcard to the field days for those interested in cereal crops.

“Traditionally, the plots have been a highlight for farmers,’’ Mrs Anderson said.

“This display allows for farmers to view new and existing varieties and to also compare the plots to what is happening in their own paddocks.

“Henty is located in the heart of a mixed farming region and the plots will enhance not only the displays on site but the overall experience for visitors.’’