Downs growers take timeout for Casino field day

Rob Johnston Advanta Seeds corn manager and Brad Weier Emerald Grain Toowoomba.

For farmers across the country with adequate subsoil moisture, autumn means getting wheat, barley, canola and other winter crops into paddocks, with little downtime.

But for some Darling Downs growers, a recent tour of the Casino area in northern NSW for a corn and soybean field day was worth taking a day off for.

About 40 farmers made the bus trip to the Advanta Seeds/PB Agrifood Fairy Hill field day, held at Peter Brodie and Mark Carter’s share farm 13km north of Casino.

Advanta Seeds corn business manager Rob Johnston said the information afternoon focused on crop diseases, trial methods and new products.

“The trial site in Casino is very important to Advanta as it’s a great area to test for in-crop diseases like northern leaf blight and rust,” he said.

“We can test our new and upcoming hybrids against these diseases.”

“It was also an excellent opportunity to show farmers from the Downs what we’re doing in research and hybrids that are coming through, plus explain to them how we test hybrids and why we release certain hybrids to the market.”

Mr Johnston said of particular interest were the new imidazolinone tolerant (IT) varieties PAC 606IT and 727IT.

“Allan Smith from Snackbrands was also on-hand to discuss with growers what they look for in a corn crop, and he showed growers a commercial crop of PAC 727 which will go into making CCs corn chips.”

Mr Johnston said the timing of the tour was ideal given the Downs corn harvest usually runs from January to April, while northern NSW runs a bit later, from February to May.

PB Agrifood staff led a walkthrough of a soybean trial, helping growers learn more about the soybean trial varieties on display, while Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) staff discussed the best practices for stored grain and testing aeration efficiency of grain storage.

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