Variety switch delivers bumper wheat yield
Product focus: Hellfire wheat
Benn Jenkin, who farms ‘Glengarry’, a mixed farming enterprise in the Tooraweenah area of central western New South Wales, has had an excellent season after transitioning to Pacific Seeds’ Hellfire, with an incredible 12 per cent yield increase in 2020.
“We were looking to replace the Longreach Spitfire for a high protein wheat with quicker maturity, and the Hellfire variety was a pretty clean replacement,” Benn said.
Benn and his father have been long term Longreach Spitfire growers for 10 years prior, and have since transitioned into Hellfire in the 2019 and 2020 winter cropping seasons.
The move to Hellfire has fitted well with the farm’s mid-season maturity sowing window. With the impressive disease and quality packages of Hellfire, the variety’s flexibility has been shown across a range of soil types, particularly in the contrasting seasons of 2019 and 2020.
“In 2021, we have planted all Hellfire, and we certainly prefer it, having a 12 per cent yield increase overall,” Benn mentioned.
“It was much easier to harvest in general last season, and it was a pretty straight forward variety to grow.”
With similar characteristics and seedling vigour to Longreach Spitfire, field observations suggest a superior disease package in terms of leaf diseases, better harvestability and superior standability. Hellfire has maintained similar grain protein accumulation, and APH quality of Spitfire with significant yield advantages.
For Benn, last season was almost perfect, despite a dry start and finish and a bit of pressure from mice late in the season.
“We had a slightly dry start, but we had good rain through the winter months, before turning dry again in the spring,” Benn said.
After planting 1500 hectares, Benn was pleased to see a huge yield increase.
“We were thrilled to see the final yield result at 4.9t/hectare – we’d definitely plant Hellfire again,” Benn said. Benn intends Hellfire to make up a fair proportion of his cereal rotation moving forward.
Photo above: Central West mixed farmer impressed with Hellfire wheat performance. Pictured L to R are Cropping Manager Andrew Starr, Owner Benn Jenkin, and Pinnacle Ag Agronomist Andrew Ceeney.