Weed control and maturity diversity are front of mind when it comes to selecting new wheat varieties for Gibson grower, Jordan Whiting of Shepwok Downs.
On the hunt for a variety that provided an earlier sowing opportunity, and the possibility of enhanced in crop weed control, the Whiting’s took the opportunity to trial new slow season, Valiant CL Plus wheat on-farm last season.
Valiant CL Plus, a Clearfield Plus wheat with an AH classification in the Western and Southern wheat classification zones was trialled alongside Scepter , Denison , and Catapult in a paddock trial, next to the FAR WA crop technology centre.
“We struggle to find wheat varieties that we can sow between the end of our canola program and Anzac Day, before we get into seeding our mid-maturing wheat and then barley which was our main attraction to Valiant CL Plus”, said Jordan.
“We’re keen to have another look at Valiant CL Plus this year and plan to use it and Denison to bridge the seeding gap after canola, hoping we don’t have to then pull up, we wait for the ideal window for our mid-maturing varieties.”
“If moisture is available and we can get a crop germinated in April, we want to be able to take advantage of it by using the right varieties”.
At Shepwok Downs the main wheats grown are Catapult and Scepter , with growing areas of Denison and Valiant CL Plus due to their slower maturity and fit within the management program.
“One of our wheat growing challenges is protein, we’re achieving good yields although it’s tough to get protein within a H2-H1 window. We’re constantly trialling a range of nitrogen strategies, including applications 3-4 weeks before flowering which seems to be giving us the best protein responses in combination with earlier applications at approx. Z31 to drive yield.”
“It can be difficult to get across all paddocks with N during this short window which is another reason why a range of varieties with different maturities is useful,” said Jordan.
“Like most growers, we’re always tempted and chase AH because it adds to profitability, dependent on N costs and the rotation.
“Last harvest, most of our loads went APW1 which wasn’t a bad result, but we always aim for AH and typically prefer AH varieties like Valiant CL Plus,” Jordan said.
Another challenge faced by the Whiting’s is grass weed control in low lying areas of paddocks and this year they plan on tackling some of these areas with Intervix, early post emergence, an advantage of the Clearfield Plus system.
According to InterGrain’s Wheat Breeder Dan Mullan, Valiant CL Plus has been welcomed by growers as a high yielding variety which provides an early sowing, Clearfield Plus option with a maturity complementary to mid-slow and mid-maturing varieties within grower programs.
“Valiant CL Plus offers a robust disease resistance package, including good yellow spot, stripe rust and stem rust resistance.
“We are looking forward to seeing how Valiant CL Plus performs this season, particularly where very early sowing windows have been utilised. It will be great to see the yield and quality results across a range of areas across the state.”
Valiant CL Plus is available through all InterGrain Seedclub Members for planting this season.