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New APH wheat Lancer makes the grade

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article image Russell Wood is pleased with receiving APH grading for some of his wheat despite a tough season
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Looking to tap into the lucrative wheat export market, Chinchilla grower Russell Wood reviewed his winter cropping plan with an industry associate in order to reach his target.

He decided on the reputable APH wheat variety Gregory and new APH variety Lancer for his farm Oak Park at Chances Plain. One of his wheat business managers suggested he try 120ha of the new Lancer next to 30ha of Gregory, which had been giving him good results in previous years.

Upon delivery to Graincorp Chinchilla at season’s end last month, his shipment managed a mix of APH and H2, which will most likely be destined for the export market. The crops averaged three tonnes per hectare, with little variance between either variety.

Given the season he had, it was a solid result – the farm faced a late frost event that impacted their yield by as much as 25 percent. While yield was severely impacted, the protein remained intact. Mr Wood was impressed the frost had no impact on the quality of the wheat. 

A new release from Pacific Seeds, Lancer is an early-planting, longer season wheat with slow and steady maturity and APH grain quality. Lancer is sown seven days earlier than Gregory.

Mr Wood was adamant during discussions with his wheat associate that to get APH with a good yield, he needed a long season variety that could be planted early.

He explains varieties such as Lancer, which are planted early, are in the ground for longer and exhibit a longer stem elongation phase, which is when the plant builds up the grain and bulks up the yield. The grower said early in the growing stage Gregory looked stronger, but on closer inspection, he was surprised at the stark difference: during the tiller count, Lancer had 7-8 tillers per plant to Gregory’s 3-4 tillers per plant.

Being a practicing agronomist and running his rural supplies business Wood Ag, Mr Wood could do a lot of the testing and observation himself, but said he left the paddock preparation up to contractors.

Mr Wood put the Lancer up against Gregory in a May 10 plant using a Gyral air seeder on 25cm row spacing at a rate of 40kg/ha. CK700 plus zinc at 65kg/ha went on with seed at planting.

There were two falls of rain in-crop; one in May of 40mm and one at the end of July of 25mm.

Mr Wood is keen to test the two wheat varieties again under better conditions next winter.

Pacific Seeds is committed to bringing the best plant genetics and seed technology to Australia’s farming community.

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