New Elders oat varieties increase value for croppers

Charlton district contractor and hay producer Tim Durre is committed to investing in newer oats varieties, finding that high performance ratios have significantly contributed to the success of his hay business.

Mr Durre, who produces large volumes of oaten hay for western Queensland and local clients, says the new variety Boss developed by Elders has returned significant results on his farm.

Tim consulted his local Elders advisor and with the support of the technical team in Toowoomba set about conducting a large scale on-farm trial measuring yield and quality parameters of the hay produced. The crop nutrition regime included 200kg Urea worked in as an upfront pre plant fertiliser, four weeks prior to sowing, followed by 40kg/ha of zinc and micro nutrients as a starter with the seed.

The Boss oats were planted at the start of May on fallow ground over five paddocks at 50kg/ha in 13” row configuration. The crop was irrigated with two 50ml watering’s, six weeks apart to support the crop in the early growing phases.

Mr Durre said that he was lucky enough to get a good rainfall event midway through the growing phase which allowed the crop to reach its yield potential whilst maintaining the quality.

“We cut an enormous amount of high quality hay off the paddocks planted to Boss with some averaging over 10t/ha which we put to large squares with some smaller square bales as well,” said Mr. Durre.

He also explained that Boss was a little later to mature than first thought and was very impressed with the rust resistance and overall quality of the hay produced.

“I was impressed mostly with the quality and amount of biomass produced by the Boss variety. My horse clients found it produces excellent chaff, and both horse and cattle clients kept coming back for more after their livestock utilised all of the product and performed well afterwards,” he said.

Due to its solid performance, the Boss hay sold to a range of producers between Toowoomba and the Cooper basin.

“Quality is everything in the hay industry and if you can provide a top product like Boss then the demand goes up and everyone wins,” said Mr. Durre.

Mr Durre’s operation is planning on putting more paddocks to the variety this season to fill the demand created.

Elders Technical Services Manager Maree Crawford says that the successful development of superior products like Boss have spurred further work in Oats genetics, with Elders releasing another new grazing variety this season, Graza 53, which is rated a nine for rust tolerance.

“This variety will compliment the other mainstay variety Graza 85 which has also gained a large following based on its overall performance in the paddock,” says Ms Crawford.

“We’re really excited by the success we have had in the paddock with our varieties so far. Elders oat products are consistently providing more options with planting windows and agronomic features which will lead to greater animal productivity.”

Photo: Client Mr Tim Durre, with Toowoomba Farm Supplies Sales Rep Maddy Humphrey.

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