GRENFELL wheat growers Rob and Mandy Taylor of Glenalla, Grenfell, have been announced state champions in a prestigious annual wheat competition, taking out the farming excellence award as well.
Growers from the state's wheat cropping belt gathered at Club Dubbo last Friday night for the 2021 Suncorp Bank Championship Dryland Field Wheat Competition awards dinner. Run by AgShows NSW (the peak body for 192 shows) the competition is judged across four regions ahead of the state final.
AgShows NSW president Tim Capp said that to make the state final the top five crops in the four regions were identified and then compared to determine a state winner.
"The central and southern regions were hard to beat in 2021 thanks to favourable seasonal conditions and the skill of those producers to make the most of their conditions," Mr Capp said.
Mr and Mrs Taylor topped the central region with their 8.7 tonne per hectare Coolah crop, ahead of the highly awarded Merrivale Partnership in Gunnedah with an 8.5t/ha Lancer crop and Illinois Farms in Cowra with an 8.5t/ha Coolah crop.
The Taylors were announced state champions last Friday night as well as the durum wheat competition state champion.
Three generations of Taylors are working on Glenalla, which comprises 2500 hectares. About 1800 hectares are sown to wheat, barley and canola while the family also runs self-replacing Merino ewes.
Producing medium wool, 75 per cent of those ewes are joined to Merino rams and 25 per cent to terminal sires.
The family have practiced no-till farming in the cropping phases since 1992.
"Following research, implementing relevant findings and new technology, seeking professional advice, and attention to detail was highlighted at Glenalla in what will be remembered as an exceptionally good year," judge Frank McRae, DLF Seeds Australia, said.
In the southern region the Mickan Brothers of Rosedale, Walla Walla, placed first for their 8.3t/ha Rockstar crop ahead of S Zweck and J Ellis of Wasley, Henty, for a 8.5t/ha DS Bennett crop and Stockinbingal Pastoral Co, Netherby, Wallendbeen for a 8.2t/ha Condo crop.
The Browning Family, Narromine Station, topped the northern competition for their 7t/ha Lancer crop ahead of Simon and Rachel Cant of Warren in second place with their 6.7t/ha Reliant crop and the Uebergang family of Avoca, Warialda with their 6.6 t/ha Sunmax crop.
In the state's west, Hillston's Sheldon and Rebecca Dalton, Tandera, scored the highest with their 7.2 t/ha Scepter crop and were followed closely by Redwin Farming, Nixons Road, Barmedman, with a 7.2t/ha Trojan crop and Karen and Paul Kaveney, Coolonga, Bribbaree with 7.5t/ha Scepter crop.
In the durum yield competition Simon Thompson of Bundella Station, Namoi Pty Ltd, Quirindi scored highest for his 7.4t/ha Westcourt crop ahead of Durham Pastoral Co, Nombi, Mullaley, with a 7.1t/ha Bindaroi crop and Wheatacres Partnership, Duri, with a 6.6t/ha Bindaroi crop.
"The entries selected for the regional finals were of a very high standard with excellent agronomic management," Mr said.
"Yield potential was consistently high for the growing regions with some growers commenting that the crops entered were the best they have ever grown. Yield estimates range from 8.5 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare depending on region and environment.
"Previous seasonal conditions had influenced crop rotations with the northern most crops grown on virtually two years of fallow."
Mr McRae said the recent record rains that had fallen across the state during November severely impacted on the harvestability, grain quality and financial return to growers.
"Few crops were harvested before the rain and flooding occurred across all regions," he said.
"Fungicides and growth regulators were used to manage disease and excessive canopy growth.
"Changing pathotypes of stripe rust had changed the resistance ratings of some varieties and multiple fungicide applications as well as fertiliser treatment were used to manage this disease.
"Some take-all and minor crown rot were other fungal root diseases noted in some crops but the impacts were minimised by the cool wet finish to the growing season."
This year's competition was sponsored by Suncorp Bank, The Land, Lowes Petroleum and Stoller Australia.
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