Plots to showcase 29 cereal varieties in 2017 at Henty

Stephanie Clancy and Aaron Giason, of Baker Seed Co, inspect the demonstration plots with HMFD deputy chairman, Nigel Scheetz.

Grain growers will be able to inspect 29 wheat, barley, triticale and oat varieties planted across two sowing dates in the demonstration 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 dual-purpose and milling varieties for field day patrons.

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

“We had a good response to the site at Henty last year – the first day we were run off our feet with farmers looking at the new varieties,’’ Mr Giason said.

“There was interest in the Wedgetail and Gregory replacements are they are the main varieties in this area, plus the new winter wheat materials.

“It gives us a presence, we can showcase what we’ve got to offer and show growers what we are doing behind the scenes to look at new varieties.’’

Mr Giason said lime and gypsum was incorporated at the site this season.

The site was direct drilled by Kalyx Australia using a Custom Quip seeder on a 23cm row spacing and seeding depth of 3cm over the split sowing times of April and May.

The site was treated with Roundup PowerMax at 1.5 litre/ha, Boxer Gold at 2.5 litre/ha (wheat and barley) and Lorsban at 140ml/ha.

Fertiliser applications were MAP with Impact at 80kg/ha and 120kg/ha of Urea below the seed.

Field day visitors will be able to inspect 29 wheat, four barley, six oat and two triticale varieties.

Mr Giason said seed companies had entered material closest to commercial release.

“These varieties are known by numbers now but the aim is to have most of them named by the field days,’’ he said.

“There will be another two to three Wedgetail types in this season’s trials.

“This year we have incorporated newer triticale and oat varieties destined to have a big fit in this mixed cropping region.’’

The triticale varieties are Kowari and Astute, while oats include Bannister, Yallara, Comet, SF Tucuna, Taipan and Eurabbie.

Mr Giason said dry matter cuts were taken in last year’s plots but the site was mostly treated as a demonstration.

“Henty is the major field days we are involved in outside of Rutherglen so it is an important draw for our customer base,’’ he said.

“A lot of the preparation of the site is within a 10 year plan.

“We are looking at incorporating pasture systems to see what other species might fit – pests have been an issue in the past at the site for canola and pulse varieties.’’

Mr Giason said seed company representatives would be on hand to give advice to growers on the new varieties.

He said some cereal crops had been resown in the Wimmera and Mallee due to mice damage.

There was also isolated slug damage but on the whole, crops in the eastern areas were growing well.