RockStar Wheat – In the spotlight this planting!

14 May 2020

A pleasing start to the season in Eastern Australia and a promising seasonal outlook for WA certainly provides our newest Australian Hard (AH*) wheat, RockStar, with every opportunity to show its form in its first season in the paddock.

In eastern Australia, the ideal Anzac Day break to the season in many parts has provided ideal planting conditions for mid-slow varieties like RockStar.

The earlier break has reinforced the opportunity for newer, broadly adapted varieties with a later maturity. These varieties can be planted earlier than Scepter, maximising yield and spreading flowering windows during the critical spring stress period.

Despite the drier WA conditions RockStar is still expected to perform well in its first season, when we consider the variety’s NVT and internal trial performance in tougher environments as seen in WA, SA and southern NSW last year. It highlights RockStar’s ability to maintain yield in shorter seasons and when planted later in programs.

Goomalling grower, Trevor Syme is growing RockStar for the first time this year, planting 23ha as bulk up and then 2 runs sown at 75kg/ha side by side some Trojan for a comparison.

“We decided to give RockStar a go this season as an earlier sown wheat which may take the place of the Magenta and Trojan in our program.

“I’ve noticed that Trojan does really well in good paddocks, in good seasons, but struggles in poorer soils and seasons. Whereas Magenta does well in poorer seasons and soil types although if it’s a dry spring it doesn’t perform as well.”

“I am hoping that RockStar is a variety that meets in the middle of these two varieties and performs across a range of conditions. The RockStar has now come up so we will wait and see how it goes.”

Goomalling grower, Trevor Syme in action planting his 23ha of RockStar for bulk up.

To further test RockStar’s paddock potential the variety has been included in many consulting and grower group trials, including Stirlings to Coast, Minnipa Ag Centre, Hart Field Site, BCG and AgLink across the country.

Variety performance across a range of time of sowing (TOS) and phenology trials will provide an opportunity to compare RockStar relative to industry benchmarks in another season. RockStar is again present in most national NVT trials and all InterGrain trials.

Interest in RockStar wheat this season has been exceptional with seed demand for the new variety exceeding initial expectations. To assist grower access to RockStar seed, large scale summer productions were undertaken. With impressive results, this has enabled many to receive seed 12 months earlier than was originally anticipated.

Seedclub members across the network have good planting areas intended, particularly in southern NSW following recent receipt of an AH classification.

According to RockStar’s Breeder Dan Mullan, growers will welcome the mid-slow variety to diversify their wheat variety planting portfolio and grasp earlier sowing opportunities as we’re seeing in many areas this year.

“RockStar is an exceptionally high yielding variety which has consistently performed across a wide range of environments and sowing dates within the InterGrain and NVT trial programs, highlighting very good yield stability.”

“While RockStar has a medium coleoptile and effective tillering capacity and will hold its own in terms of weed competition, this also means growers should carefully consider appropriate seeding rates to achieve desired plant densities,” Dr Mullan said.

RockStar offers an effective disease resistance package, including good yellow spot and stripe rust resistance and very good stem rust resistance.

RockStar is Moderately Susceptible to Susceptible to CCN, therefore this will need to be managed with CCN resistant break crops.

For more information on RockStar, visit https://www.intergrain.com/variety/rockstar/