FARMERS need to have a range of cereal options to suit their various needs and cropping programs.
That was the message from Agrivision agronomist Tim Pohlner at Birchip Cropping Group's main field day in northern Victoria earlier in the month.
Mr Pohlner said newer wheat varieties such as Catapult, a flexible new release that can be planted early but still yields well if sown dry and there is a late germination and Vixen, a high yielding wheat aiming to take on the popular Sceptre line and suited to a late breaking season.
He said in his region Sceptre was still highly regarded while many people still grew the Mace cultivar.
"Mace is not for everyone, however, as it really needs a fungicide so if you are not able to get out and do it, then you might look for something with more inbuilt resistance.
"The variety is fine when it gets the fungicide but you can't leave it."
Mr Pohlner said one of the big issues in his area, which encompasses much of north-west Victoria, was lowering the reliance on Clearfield technology.
"There are ways and means to avoid it where you can and then when you do plant a Clearfield line you can make full use of it."
He said with farm sizes increasing he recommended a suite of wheat varieties to be planted to mitigate risk.
"It is better logistically to have a mix of maturities and it is also good from the risk management perspective."
In regards to barley he said growers in the area were focusing on yields.
"There is not always the premium for malt so yield really is king, we have seen success for people on sandier soils with Scope, which is very vigourous on the sandy soils, while Planet is also popular for its strong competition, although I would like to see similar traits in a Clearfield line to really allow a good weed break."