InterGrain wheats go hard to reap rewards for growers

11 August 2020 Wheat News

RockStar and Vixen breeder Dan Mullan at the InterGrain Mingenew site looking at early growth habits and early disease presence across the site’s 10,000 plots.

InterGrain wheats RockStar and Vixen this week added yet another credential to their pedigrees with receipt of an additional classification, AHN (Australian Hard Noodle).

The varieties now have a dual classification of AH and AHN, which may attract price premiums over APW of up to $10 a tonne.

The potential financial windfall was welcomed by Grant Robinson, who this season is bulking up 25 hectares of RockStar, sown on jam soil at 45kg/ha following a three-year pasture.

Grant and Bernadette Robinson and son Aaron farm ‘Woondillon’, 250km east of Perth at Babakin in the Bruce Rock Shire, cropping 2500 hectares on medium to heavy soil types.

“Our long-term average protein is about 10.5 per cent, so with RockStar able to be upgraded to AHN, delivered as APWN at select receival points, we may enjoy a premium over APW varieties.

“While the 9.5 to 11.5 per cent protein parameters suit an average season, higher protein and making AH in drier finishes on our heavier country typically provides good premiums, the new dual classification shapes as a bonus in average protein years,” Mr Robinson said.

Corrigin CBH began receiving APWN in 2018-19 harvest and all of the Robinson’s delivered Mace went into that segregation.

The AHN/APWN classification is currently unique to WA and is the only Australian classification region with an APWN receival grade.

InterGrain wheat breeder Dan Mullan explained that wheat varieties with AH or APW classifications could be awarded an additional specialty noodle class by exhibiting complementary colour and noodle eating quality.

“This identifies them as preferred varieties in udon noodle blends and an added bonus is likely increased premiums if they meet APWN grade requirements at delivery,” he said.

RockStar and Vixen can now offer growers a welcome income bonus at the business end of the season after earlier offering diversity and flexibility in planting regimes and flowering.

“They both have similar genetics; hence both show very stable yields across diverse seasons.

Vixen is significantly earlier maturing but maintains a high yield potential, uncharacteristic of wheats in that maturity class, while RockStar is a mid to long maturing variety that can still yield exceptionally well following delayed germination,” Dr Mullan said.

With a long history of WA meeting Japanese end market requirements, APWN had recently become increasingly valued, hence was now a very strong breeding focus for InterGrain.

“Delivering high value wheats into premium-paying established markets is the sharp end of grain growing, hence our recent variety releases reflect this focus,” Dr Mullan explained.

RockStar and Vixen are available from WA Seedclub members and are farmer to farmer trade approved.