AGT 'Catapults' new variety into market

POTENTIAL: Wheat breeder Dr James Edwards is excited to see what Catapult can do on-farm in season 2020.
POTENTIAL: Wheat breeder Dr James Edwards is excited to see what Catapult can do on-farm in season 2020.

Catapult is a great choice for dry sowing because it maintains its high yield over a wide range of germination dates.

Dr James Edwards, AGT wheat breeder

A high yielding wheat that provides a safer option for dry sowing is part of AGT's new variety offering for Australian growers.

Over recent years a substantial portion of Australia's wheat crop has been planted dry, and in many instances germination of these crops has been delayed due to a later than anticipated season break.

AGT wheat breeder Dr James Edwards said variety choice was important when it comes to dry sowing.

"Growers are continually looking for earlier sowing options that don't compromise on yield," Dr Edwards said.

"A variety like Catapult is a great choice for dry sowing because it maintains its high yield over a wide range of germination dates, including well into May where it remains competitive with Scepter, which is the benchmark variety.

"In fact, Catapult may be viewed as a 'longer season' Scepter, allowing growers to achieve Scepter-like yields when sown in late April.

"When sown towards the end of April, Catapult has taken longer for heads to emerge relative to Trojan and Scepter, but that accelerates when it is sown in May.

"We believe growers are likely to be able to plant Catapult a week earlier than they would plant Scepter, with this planting window extending well into late May, offering great flexibility to growers."

When sown around Anzac Day, Catapult has consistently out-yielded Trojan as well as other varieties used in this sowing window.

"The very high yield potential of Catapult relative to other varieties has been recorded across a large range of growing conditions and environments, highlighting its wide suitability for most cropping programs," Dr Edwards said.

"Catapult is an exciting development for the wheat breeding team at AGT."

Dr Edwards said Catapult is also one of the best choices for use in wheat-on-wheat rotations due to its disease risk profile.

"Apart from Catapult, there are no other wheat varieties that combine this maturity type with cereal cyst nematode resistance, yellow leaf spot resistance and AH quality," he said.

Commercial quantities of Catapult will be available through AGT affiliates or local retailers.

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