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Wheat and Barley Variety Options Western Victoria/SESA

With harvest now underway, it’s the right time to consider your options when it comes to what varieties you should have in your wheat and barley programs.


It’s not a case of “one size fits all” approach when it comes to selecting the variety that suits your enterprise. However, invariably a single variety or selection of varieties tend to be dominant in certain districts as they are often best suited to each respective region.


There is probably no greater example of a variety dominating plantings than Scepter. It has industry leading yield potential, with the ability to be a sprint finisher after flowering has completed. Scepter has high yield and good quality grain specs (AH) at harvest time and has the ability to be a good performer in tough spring finishes. 


Trojan is another of the main varieties grown, where growers are targeting those earlier sowing dates but still ensure the optimum flowering window is maintained (Trojan is APW). 


Vixen (New): AH wheat from Intergrain. Scepter type maturity. I have some side by side on farmer scale demo’s in Bordertown in 2019, gives higher tillers/m2 compared to Scepter for improved crop competition. Heads are shorter and more compact than Scepter. Looks as though it might go very close to yielding higher than Scepter. Worth trying on your farm in 2020 alongside Scepter!


Catapult (New): AH wheat from AGT, Trojan type maturity. Yet to see this in large scale side by side. 2020 will be the year to test. 


Rockstar (New): AH wheat from Intergrain, Trojan type maturity. Much the same as the Catapult, yet to see larger trials of this. 2020 will be a good year to put a few of these “earlier options” into a paddock side by side and see for yourself. If you’re sowing wheat in that April 25th-May 10th window you should be looking into these two new longer season AH wheats, up against Scepter or Trojan. 


Sheriff CL Plus (New): APW Clearfield wheat from Intergrain. Trojan type maturity. Looks to be the obvious successor for the Clearfield wheat growers. Consistently higher yields than industry standards.


Barley, like the wheat is currently dominated by a few main varieties. These include Spartacus, Planet and Compass. 

Compass continues to perform very well on the lighter sands on tighter finishing country north of the Adel-Melb highway. Planet is a relatively new player and is performing well in that 3.5t plus zone. Meanwhile Spartacus has that strong fit in the Wimmera Mallee areas with the bonus of the CL technology, which provides a great all-round agronomic tool for managing weeds such as brome grass. 


IGB 1705T (New): Early to mid-maturing potential malt CL barley yet to be released from Intergrain. Only in pre-release stages but looks to be better than Spartacus for yield in the 1-3t/ha areas and on a par for yields in the higher than 3.5t/ha areas. 


Keep in mind that there are other varieties that have been released for the 2020 season, with a few more potential releases which are dependent on seed bulk ups and quality testing. To find out more, speak to your local Western AG agronomist or keep an eye out for your copy of the GRDC sowing guide.

Article produced by - Nathan Tink, Western AG Bordertown

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