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High performing Spartacus CL is impressing WA farmer

Duncan Young Spartacus Syngenta

Duncan Young is a fourth generation farmer in the Avon Valley of Western Australia. He farms 2,800 hectares of fertile land and recently hosted a barley and wheat breeding trial site for the seed breeding company, InterGrain.

Mr Young says one of the advantages of hosting an InterGrain breeding site every second year is that he has the opportunity to see first-hand the progress of new varieties that come through the InterGrain program and also through visiting NVT trial sites.

“It allows us to see how new varieties will perform in our own district and on our own farm,” Mr Young said.

Mr Young planted 20 hectares in May of 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.

“I saw the performance of Spartacus CL when it was still a trial line and seeing how well it performed in NVT trials, I was keen to give it a go when it became commercially available,” Mr Young said. 

“So far with a wet and favourable season, the Spartacus CL crop is looking good.

“A two spray fungicide strategy is used on the barley with the application of COGITO® and AMISTAR XTRA® to minimise leaf diseases and maximise yield potential.”

Mr Young is looking to replace 80 per cent of the area sown to Scope CL to Spartacus CL in 2017. The remainder of his barley program will be La Trobe.

Previously, Mr Young grew Scope CL to target Brome grass. His decision to switch to Spartacus CL was driven by its yield advantages over Scope CL and the need to continue using Clearfield chemistry. 

“It is good to know that we can use Intervix® to target specific problem weeds in crop if we need to but we haven’t had to use it this year as the double-knock use of AXIAL® and VELOCITY® in-crop have kept the crop clean,” Mr Young said.

Spartacus CL is currently undergoing Australian Malt and Brewing Accreditation. Although Mr Young doesn’t target or rely on malt classification, he sees it as a potential benefit.

“The yield advantage we have seen in trials was a good enough reason to introduce Spartacus CL into our program. If we are able to deliver crops as malt when the season is right, that would be an added bonus,” he said.