Back-to-back crop competition win for Singhs

Brown's Well crop comp win goes to Scepter wheat from Singhs

Cropping
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It was a tight finish in this week's Brown's Well crop competition in the Mallee.

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A wheat crop on the Singh family's Alawoona property has taken out this year's Brown's Well crop competition in a very tight finish.

It is the second consecutive year Lachie and Kevin Singh have won the competition - this year their Scepter wheat again took home the top gong on 84.4 points and an estimated yield of 2.76 tonnes a hectare.

Lachie said they worked on a two-year rotation, with the 550ha paddock down for pasture last year for their sheep. In 2018, a barley crop on it yielded 1.4t/ha.

This year the paddock was sown on May 4 with 12-inch spacings and a seed rate of 48kg/ha.

Rainfall for the year in that area was 287mm, with 230mm during the growing season.

"It had a very good start in April," he said.

"Then it was dry for a bit, but we then had 38.6mm in August, 36.4mm in September and 25mm in October already.

"We will have a few wheat crops that will benefit from this month's rain, but we probably don't need much more."

If he "had a crystal ball", Lachie said he would have handled weed control in the paddock better.

"Last year it was obviously very dry and being a 550ha paddock its hard to manage sheep on it, so I only grass sprayed it late as I wanted to keep things like capeweed on the sandy areas to minimise drift," he said.

"Luckily it started raining early and I got fantastic knock on those weeds, but in hindsight I could have held off a bit longer to get some of the barley grass that has come through.

"But I am still pretty happy with how it looks."

Lachie said he would be happy if the crop averaged 2.5t/ha.

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Coming in a close second was James Shannon, who's impressive-looking Cutlass wheat paddock at Taplan scored 83.06 points and was estimated to yield 2.64t/ha.

It was the first year Mr Shannon had entered the competition, which has been running for nearly 50 years.

His paddock was also rested last year.

The crop was sown on May 5 and has had 180mm GSR, 220mm YTD, including 26mm in October already.

"It did have one challenge - a late germination of brome grass which we treated with Monza in-crop," he said.

"But apart from that, it's just done it all itself - I was surprised how well it had come up because the paddock hasn't had a great history."

James is hoping it goes 2.2t/ha.

In third place on 77.41 points was Adam Flavel with his Scepter wheat crop at Meribah, which was estimated to yield 2.28t/ha.

Adam said it was a "pretty handy and even crop, which was free of weeds" after a strong summer spraying program.

"We did have an issue with onion weed which was addressed with Ally in July," he said.

The paddock was left for pasture last year and sown to Grenade wheat in 2018, which yielded 0.5t/ha.

Adam is hoping the 195ha will go 2.2t/ha this year.

It was variable rate sown on May 13, between 40kg/ha to 70kg/ha, and has had 290mm YTD and 220mm GSR.

"I think we might be slightly in front of 2016 with our crops this year," he said.

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