Guy Slater was so impressed with how the milling wheat Catherine performed for them this season he is establishing 60ha of the variety this year.
This is a real show of confidence in the recently released wheat, but the South Canterbury farmer says Catherine ticked all the boxes for them from establishment through to milling.
“It was an amazing crop; I haven’t got the exact numbers yet, but it might have yielded around 14.2t/ ha. It’s a gutsy wheat with a lovely big flag leaf and quite a big head. It looks really good.”
Another advantage with Catherine, which has proved to be a top performer in Foundation for Arable Research trials, is that it has a tight head and doesn’t shed at harvest.
Last year was the first season that Guy, who farms a large-scale arable operation alongside his wife Jane and father Roger, had tried Catherine and he established the crop in late May into a paddock near Ashburton that had come out of process corn.
The wheat received the standard three-spray fungicide programme and responded really well to irrigation and dressings of Nitrogen and this was reflected in the final protein level of 11.7%.
“We got good payback on those inputs.”
There were no disease issues.
Guy describes Catherine as a bold plant and for this reason it received two plant growth regulator treatments. The crop was irrigated five times over the growing season, receiving a total of 250mm, and Guy says it benefited from a cool spring, which proved ideal for grain-fill.
The crop was harvested on 9 February and delivered to Farmers Mill, a farmer-owned flour mill in South Canterbury in which the family has a small shareholding.
Guy says feedback from the mill was very positive. The wheat had a protein level of 11.7%, and tested 81 kg/hectolitre with a falling number of 417.
The family don’t grow a lot of cereal relative to their other crops as their primary focus is on potatoes, which are grown for McCains, Talleys, Mr Chips and Proper Crisps. They also grow Tall Fescue, peas and other break crops.
For more information about Catherine milling wheat talk to your Luisetti Seeds’ agronomist.
Original parent Viceroy (showing yellow leaves characteristic of BYDV infection). A trial using a resistance wheat gene to control Barley...