Plots to showcase cereal and legume varieties at Henty

Aaron Giason, Baker Seed Co, inspects Sparticus barley sown at a high rate at the Henty agronomy site, with Lisa Gillogly, third year agricultural science student, Charles Sturt University, Wagga.

Grain growers will be able to inspect 25 wheat and two barley varieties plus legumes planted across 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 two hectare demonstration plot complemented the fully replicated trial sites at Rutherglen used to identify elite germplasm within breeding programs.

This year’s demonstration site will feature 25 wheat varieties, two varieties of barley sown at high or low plant densities, legume, forage and oil seed varieties.

The cereal site was direct drilled by Kalyx Australia on a 23cm row spacing and seeding depth of 2cm on April 27.

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

Fertiliser applications were MAP with Impact at 80kg/ha and 80kg/ha of Urea below the seed plus Mouse Off at 1kg/ha.

The cover crop and pasture area were sown on May 25.

Mr Giason said the trial area was dry sown this year.

“On the area in front of the cereal trials we have included a high density pasture legume blend of Kingcote treated Arrowleaf, Balansa, red and white covers,’’ he said.

“We have also planted a cover crop of Jackhammer radish, AF09169 faba beans, Butler peas, Bateman lupins, popany vetch and safflower on the eastern area of the agronomy plots.

“These were spread and harrowed into extremely dry soil conditions on May 25. We are managing the trial site to maintain a suitable rotation and improve soil health.

“Last year the grazing cereals were mown in August so people could see the regrowth.

“We had applied lime and gypsum to the site last year and I disced the site to reduce the clods.

“The cover crop is a mix of different varieties, including safflower, radish, peas and beans, as an added interest for visitors.

“The white daikon radish has a large tap root, allowing the roots to penetrate deep into the soil.

“The components of the cover crop should be flowering at field day time but after the field days the cover crop will be brown manured and ploughed in.’’

Mr Giason said there were several numbered (unnamed) lines of wheat included in the trial.

“We are looking at these closely, there is a Wedgetail replacement from plant breeder Australian Grain Technologies and we are also growing an awnless grazing wheat for Dow Seeds,’’ he said.

“Mustang is included and is a quick maturing wheat in the arsenal for growers this year.

“There has been massive interest in Planet barley from Seed Force, and we have included two plant populations to look at crop competition and canopy differences between Planet and Sparticus barley.

“Considering barley prices have nearly doubled since Henty, there was a great deal of interest in adapting the new varieties to capitalise on these markets.’’

Mr Giason said grower feedback on the site last year during the field days was positive.

“The site struggled after the field days, as did the central and southern parts of NSW with drought and frost,’’ he said.

“It gave people an opportunity to see the varieties in the same conditions as most were facing at home.

“This may have helped them to make decisions to investigate the varieties further.’’

Mr Giason said southern NSW crops have had a late patchy start and were generally establishing after rains in May and June.

“The late break meant yield potential is automatically down and hence the reliance of a good spring to push yield.’’