Mexican wheat variety fit for CQ climate

SEA Condamine tops NVT's in CQ


Cropping
Brad Forsyth, Monto, grew 100 hectares of irrigated SEA Condamine in 2018, with yields as high as 6.6 tonne per hectare.

Brad Forsyth, Monto, grew 100 hectares of irrigated SEA Condamine in 2018, with yields as high as 6.6 tonne per hectare.

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A high-yield Mexican wheat variety well-suited to growing regions in central and south west Queensland is now available to Australian farmers.

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A high-yield Mexican wheat variety well-suited to growing regions in central and south west Queensland is now available to Australian farmers.

Identified by University of Queensland researchers, the variety was originally from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre in Mexico and has been evaluated by Associate Professor Mark Dieters in UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

Licensed to Seed Exchange Australia by UQ's commercialisation company, UniQuest, for sale under the name SEA Condamine, Associate Professor Dieters said the variety had demonstrated excellent adaptation to the wheat-growing regions of central Queensland and was also suitable for northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland.

"With grain yield exceeding some popular varieties by as much as 10 to 20 per cent in 2016 to 2018 national variety trials, this represents a significant improvement in yield potential compared to other main season wheat varieties," he said.

"It is also demonstrating very good yield potential in the marginal environments of south west Queensland.

"Being a tall variety, growers are also able to reap the dual benefits from harvesting the grain and bailing the straw."

SEA general manager John Shepherd said SEA Condamine was a high-yielding, white-grained wheat with quick grain fill after flowering, excellent straw strength and resistance to leaf rust.

"SEA Condamine currently has only a feed classification, but this year we hope to be rated for a milling classification based on the fantastic preliminary results from our baking trials, which show this wheat makes bread with excellent loaf volume and colour," Mr Shepherd said.

He said SEA Condamine was ranked either first or second for yield in eight out of nine National Variety Trials in central Queensland in 2017.

Brad Forsyth, Monto, planted 100 hectares under irrigation on June 10, 2018, and harvested in November with yields of 4.4 tonne to 6.6 tonne per hectare.

He said the variety grew well, but he was disappointed with the yield. "It just didn't yield as well as it looked; it nearly looked like it should have done four tonne (9.8t/ha)," he said.

"The one thing that I did like about it, it grew quite tall which I don't normally like, but we're in the hay business as well, so for somebody that wanted a bit of a dual-purpose type of thing it would suit quite well because it yielded quite a bit of hay.

"It looked like it could have done seven tonne to the hectare of dry hay, maybe even better. We baled a tonne and a half to the acre (3.7t/ha) of straw after the harvesters."

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