RockStar wheat a starring performer at Grace Plains

11 February 2021 Wheat News

RockStar wheat was a star-studded performer in its first season within Kelvin Tiller’s 2200 Ha “Nine Mile Farm” mixed cropping enterprise at Grace Plains last season.

His decision to sow mid-slow maturing RockStar on 22 hectares of light red clay soil proved astute when it came up trumps yielding 4.2t/ha in his on-farm paddock trial.

“RockStar, proved to be exceptionally high-yielding and it, along with Vixen will be the two wheats that we’re growing in our 2021 wheat program.”

The Tillers plan to plant RockStar in the earlier part of their sowing program whilst continue to use mid-quick Vixen for the remainder of their wheat area to assist in spreading risk during critical spring stress periods due to their complementary maturities.

“Our main focus is a wheat-lentil rotation, and we have a small area of barley and export hay,” he said.

Mr Tiller uses a John Deere disc drill set up with 25-centimetre (10 inch) spacings for planting.

In 2020, he planted RockStar on May 19, alongside mid-quick Vixen for comparison despite the two having different maturities.

Mr Tiller said Vixen was his main wheat variety in 2020 and in this paddock, whilst pleased with the yield, Vixen was 300kg/ha less than RockStar reflecting the soft spring conditions which favoured the mid-late and later maturity types.

He said the 2020 season was excellent throughout the northern Adelaide Plains.

“We had an ideal start where we received 80-100mm of rain around ANZAC Day – and then another 30mm fell during May,” he said.

“This was followed by a reasonably dry winter but a mild-to-wet spring which is what really bought the season home.

Mr Tiller said the RockStar looked good all year, with the later maturity compared to Vixen noticeable all season with an observable difference of 10-14 days between the two.

Both varieties were harvested with a stripper front and threshed well.

The harvested RockStar tested as ASW due to lower protein (9.8pc), as no in-crop nitrogen was applied. The crop delivered low screenings and had good test weight, exceeding 80kg/hl.

“It is exciting to see that this new variety has the ability to consistently yield well, its broad adaptiveness is appealing providing us flexibility regardless of if you’ve sown the variety in very late-April or in mid-May,” he said.

According to InterGrain Wheat Breeder Dan Mullan, growers have welcomed RockStar as an exceptionally high yielding variety which has consistently performed across different environments, highlighting its yield stability.

Dr Mullan said RockStar’s advantage was that it offered a robust disease package, including good yellow spot (MRMS), stem (MR) and stripe rust (MRMS/SVSp – pathotype dependent) resistance.

RockStar and Vixen are available for planting from Seedclub members, resellers and through farmer-to farmer trade.

For more information about RockStar click here.