A crop of Raider wheat with a potential yield of 5.76 tonnes a hectare grown by Gareth Rogers, Dursley, Bithramere has been judged the winner of the Duri Ag Bureau's annual wheat competition.
The crop scored 176.4 points, almost four points ahead of its nearest rival, a Janderoi Durum wheat grown by Scott Doyle and family, Olinga, Somerton.
Mr Rogers' winning total was boosted by adding 15 points for the estimated yield per tonne/ha, which scored him 86.4 points. The crop also scored 19/20 for freeness from disease, 14/15 for trueness to type and 23/25 for the crop's meagre weed population.
Mr Rogers said the 80ah crop was sown on May 8 with a pre-sowing application of 175 kilograms of GranAm and Urea blend followed by 90kg/ha of MAP. An in-crop application of 100kg/ha of urea just before 22mm of rain was also applied.
Mr Rogers paid tribute to his agronomist Alice Bowler from AMPS, who chose the variety and advised on the application of crop nutrition.
He said sowing into a full moisture profile contributed to the crop's result. "I did a moisture probe on July 20, and we still had a full profile of moisture," he added.
Speaking with The Land on Friday morning, Mr Rogers was taking a break from harvest after recording 27mm of overnight rainfall, which he said would place him in good stead for planting sorghum next week.
Mr Rogers said the crop was sown with a single-disc John Deere planter, which had some major mechanical upgrades before sowing.
"The mechanic and I re-bushed the planter arm, making the machine like new again. We got a terrific germination that was very even in plant density and seed depth. Every seed went into the ground at an even depth. It was just right," he said.
The planter will be adjusted and used for sorghum planting in the next week.
A crop of Maximus CL barley grown by Mr Rogers, scoring 158.5 points, was the recent winner of the Duri Agricultural Bureau's annual barley competition with an estimated yield of 4.1 tonnes a hectare.
Judging this year's competition was agronomist Hayden Hollis, Agricore, who said the 10 entrants had produced fine crops given the seasonal conditions.
"The crops this year were interesting," Mr Hollis said. "Some crops got up to 80mm of recorded rainfall while others were as low as 32mm."
He said a consistent theme among the entrants was the trueness of the type of varieties, nutrition management, weed and disease control, evenness, and the estimated yield. There was also a new criteria for the sustainability of production.
"The biggest factor we saw was the sustainability practices," Mr Hollis said. "And with the reduced rainfall that we've seen this season, it came back to how many millimetres of rain each field sees and the projected yield.
"We're making sure we grow the most tonnes of grain for the amount of rain received spells out the terms of sustainability and implementing best practices.
"Everyone started with a complete profile of moisture. The planting dates did vary, subsequently impacting some people's yields. We did see those guys who had the higher rainfall did push their inputs a lot harder, but as far as yield potential, they were all fairly relative."
He said the potential crop yield from lowest to highest was 3.45t/ha to the top score of 5.76 t/ha.
The second-placed crop of Janderoi Durum was planted on June 30 in what was described as 'very wet conditions'. Since sowing, however, the crop only received 52mm of recorded rainfall, Mr Doyle said. Preplanting, it received 300 kilograms of sulphate of ammonia and then, at planting, a further 80kg of DAP.
The judge awarded 172.75 points and estimated it had a yield potential of 5.05t/ha.
The Burke family, Glenwarrie Farms, Winton were placed third with a crop of Lancer that scored 171.25 points and a yield forecast of 4.95t/ha.
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