With signs pointing to a bumper wheat harvest, it was no surprise hundreds of growers visited the Baker Seed Co trial plots at Henty Machinery Field Days this week.
It was the first season of a 10-year lease Baker Seed Co has at the site, and the company was delighted with their inaugural outing.
“We’ve had an amazing amount of people come through,” said Aaron Giason, Baker Seed Co business development manager.
“We’ve got a number of new varieties, there’s always something new in the wheat breeding game, and this year we’ve been lucky to a Wedgetail wheat replacement, which is one of the most common varieties in southern NSW.
“We have been very happy with its performance. It’s got the grazing ability of Wedgetail. It’s got prime hard classification for NSW and for those south of the border it’s an AH in Victoria so, better test weight receivables.”
The yet to be named wheat – LPB11-0140 – has been developed by Pacific Seeds, while the high-yielding Coolah from Australian Grain Technologies was unveiled as a replacement option for the Gregory variety.
Mr Giason said the company would expand plantings next season to include barley, oats triticale and canola.
It was also investigating safflower, cultivated for seed and oil.
He put the high interest down to optimism in the cereal industry on the back of a wet winter and spring.
‘Anything low where it is wet and boggy has been decimated, so that’s taken out a bit of the potential but all-in-all we prefer this over the past two years when we’ve been wanting rain or battling with frost or heat stress which happened in October last year,” he said.
“It appears those attributes won’t happen this year, touch wood.”
“This year’s probably too wet a spring, but there’s potential for some very big crops especially if anyone got their crops sown and got nitrogen out we can see some really big crop potential.”
Field Days chairman Ross Edwards echoed the thoughts during his 2016 address.
“What a season it has been, a dry start followed by consistent rain … by and large the grain industry is looking at a record harvest,” Mr Edwards said.