Jeff Savage got a taste for mid-quick spring maturing AH wheat Vixen last year after trialling 28 hectares, which yielded 1.9 tonnes per hectare compared to his Beckom , which yielded 1.5 tonnes per hectare. He was pleased with the variety’s performance and this encouraged him to plant 650ha in mid-May across his three NSW farms at Barellan, Moombooldool and Binya.
“Vixen ’s later sowing window really suits our rotation because it gives us more time for a good ryegrass germination after the break, which is often a problem here and why we typically plant two broadleaf crops, such as field peas and canola, before our wheat,” Mr Savage said.
“We then usually follow that wheat with another wheat or Spartacus CL barley, which further helps us control the ryegrass.
“Also, with the early break this year we were able to do a double knock before the Vixen went in, and this has really helped keep the paddock clean.
“We were bone dry at the start of the year and then got a lot of rain from February to April which was ideal for our canola, it really got up and going.
“May to July was quite dry and our cereals were starting to struggle at Binya on the slightly heavier country while trying to get their roots down, but things picked up with a good rain early August.
“Year to date we’ve had 300 millimetres and the wheat is now going really well, we just hope we don’t get any bad frosts from here on,” he said.
With typically dry finishes, lighter sowing rates for cereals is advantageous.
“This pays off in dry years and in the better years like this one, the wheat will usually tiller more and put on extra grains in the heads to take advantage of the extra moisture.”
Mr Savage reflected that this year, having sown at 30-35kg/ha, he perhaps could have sown at 40-45kg/ha to potentially pick up some additional yield, but has faith that with Vixen ’s good tillering capacity and an average spring he expects he’ll be happy with its yield.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how little screenings we had in our Vixen when we graded it for this year’s seed, after such a tough year last year.”
Mr Savage was also impressed with how Vixen has held up on some of his acidic soils (as low as pH (CaCl2) 4.6 on the sandy ridges) at Barellan and Moombooldool.
“While we can see a bit of a difference on the NDVI* on the sandy ridges, there’s still an okay crop there so it looks like it should still yield satisfactorily.
Bred by InterGrain’s Dr Dan Mullan, Vixen offers a true varietal opportunity to include within wheat programs to assist in spreading flowering windows during critical spring stress periods.
In addition to the variety’s stand-out yield performance, it offers good stripe (MRMS) and stem (MRMS) rust and yellow leaf spot (MRMS) resistance.
Vixen has strong physical grain characteristics, with good grain size and hectolitre weight and also short plant height, which may assist stubble management in high yielding crops.
Vixen is available for farmer to farmer trade.
For more information on Vixen don’t hesitate to contact NSW Territory Manager Katherine Munn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0436 801 161.
* NDVI, or Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, analyses remote sensing measurements and assesses whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not.