Chasing superior yields with Spartacus CL
Al and Kate Kennedy run a mixed farming operation, ‘Felton’, near Trangie, New South Wales. With 700 hectares of farming land and a beef cattle operation, there is no room for errors in the cropping program.
Their cropping rotation consists of wheat, barley, chickpeas and oats, with grain and hay from the barley and oat crops being utilised as inputs to support the cattle operation. Choosing a high-yielding barley variety is a top priority for the Kennedy’s.
The Kennedy’s consulting agronomist, David Klaare from Landmark - Warren, recommended they switch this season from Hindmarsh to the new early maturing, superior yielding, Clearfield® barley variety, Spartacus CL.
Spartacus CL is the most recent barley variety released from the collaboration between Syngenta and InterGrain. It has caught the attention of barley growers across Australia due to its good straw strength, lodging resistance, excellent head retention and disease profile.
“David advised that we look at Spartacus CL as it had a high yield potential, similar to Hindmarsh, with the added bonus of being a Clearfield variety,” Mr Kennedy said.
“We find Spartacus CL fits well into our minimum till program and helps us clean up crops - particularly controlling barley grass using Intervix®,” he said.
The Kennedy’s contract supply cattle for the domestic market.
After a period in the paddock backgrounding the cattle to reach a desired entry weight. The cattle spend a further 80 -100 days in an intensive feeding program before reaching market weight.
“Backgrounding helps us achieve the desired entry weight and also allows the stock to destress.
“Having a barley crop that provides grain and roughage for our feed rations and then also acts as flexible tool for weed control is really useful,” Mr Kennedy said.
The Kennedy’s secured enough seed this season to plant a seed increase block.
“We aim to plant mid-to-late April, however with the wet start to the season, sowing was delayed until 5 May,” he said.
Hoping for a good season, The Kennedy’s are aiming to harvest enough Spartacus CL to grow the program again next year.
“I am excited about the season ahead and enthusiastic about the changes to the program we have implemented with the help of David’s advice.”