Department of Agriculture and Food research officer Brenda Shackley, Katanning, demonstrated the potential yield differences between wheat varieties Envoy and Corack.THE Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) wheat variety Corack has the potential to be one of best performing wheat varieties in the Great Southern, according to Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research officer Brenda Shackley.
This was demonstrated at last week’s Great Southern Agricultural Research Institute (GSARI) Field Day, Katanning, where a handful of local growers compared the result of their most recent harvest to the DAFWA trials and weighed up whether they should stick with their tried and tested wheat varieties or make a switch to one of the six new ones released in 2011.
Ms Shackley said in 2011 two AH wheats (Cobra and Emu Rock), two APW varieties (Envoy and Corack) and two imidazolinone tolerant APWs (Impose CL Plus and Justica CL Plus) were made available to WA growers.
And even though their release coincided with one of the most recent longer-season finishes in a number of years it was Corack and Cobra which came out on top.
Although Cobra eclipsed trials in the northern Wheatbelt in 2011 it was Corack which dominated trial yields in the Great Southern and demonstrated more resilience across a range of seasonal conditions.
DAFWA long-term trial data also suggested Corack was slightly higher yielding than Cobra throughout the entire Wheatbelt during the same year.
The same solid performance results were also reflected earlier this season at the WA No-Till Farming Association’s (WANTFA) Spring Field Walk in September where DAFWA research officer Mohammad Amjad validated Corack’s yield and quality potential in WANTFA’s Cunderdin-based trials.
Ms Shackley said Envoy also yielded well in the 2011 Katanning trails and long-term analysis showed it to be competitive with Wyalkatchem (and even higher yielding in a number of regions).
She said Cobra, Corack, Mace and Wyalkatchem were all similar in maturity while Envoy was slightly longer in the southern part of the State.
Magenta yields in the Great Southern were also comparable to Mace in 2011.
This was an interesting finding given in previous years Magenta had been shown to have an improvement over Mace when sown in May.
The trials showed Estoc to be similar to the widely gown Yitpi in yield, maturity and sprouting tolerance but had a slightly different disease resistance profile for stem rust and was an APW grade.
DAFWA trials also demonstrated that Fortune and Calingiri had comparable yields in the Great Southern during 2011 but there were noticeable differences in sprouting tolerance.
Ms Shackley said overall Mace remained one of the most consistent, high yielding AH choices for growers in the Great Southern.
She said Cobra, although high yielding, was yet to prove itself in dry years and APW types Envoy and Corack were definite alternatives to Wyalkatchem.
She also said Magenta was a longer season APW alternative with a maturity between Wyalkatchem and Yitpi and although Yitpi was lower yielding, it was still a popular choice for southern growers as a longer maturing variety which helped to avoid frost and sprouting risks.
“Wyalkatchem is the benchmark variety for these trials because it makes up for more than 30 per cent of WA’s mid to short season wheat sown each year,” Ms Shackley said.
“Mace plantings are creeping up on that number but it’s Yitpi which accounts for the most received in this zone.
“We’re currently looking for a Yitpi-type replacement for growers which can perhaps be as widely adapted as Wyalkatchem and Mace.”
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