Hayes’ Havoc hectares hit heights

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Cally DupeCountryman
Pacific Seeds south, central and northern WA sales manager Steve Lamb with Badgingarra farmer Tim Hayes.
Camera IconPacific Seeds south, central and northern WA sales manager Steve Lamb with Badgingarra farmer Tim Hayes. Credit: Countryman, Brandon Long

New wheat variety Havoc will make a big jump in hectares at Tim Hayes’ Badgingarra farm this season, from a modest 25ha to half of his wheat program.

He said the increase to 90 tonnes across 1100ha was justified by the variety’s maturity.

Ideally he would seed Havoc early to mid-May but last year he “went late” after dry seeding canola and lupins.

“We played the waiting game for rain... we received some in late May then started the wheat program,” he said.

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“From now on I think we’re going to wait to put all our cereals in wet, because of weed control — to give a knockdown before sowing.”

Mr Hayes farms with his father, David, and uncle, Paul, across a 2800ha property called Coonawarra Downs.

Last year, they seeded 650ha of Zen and 250ha of Ninja on a home block, and 670ha of Scepter and 230ha of Mace across leased land.

Mr Hayes said the home block performed better due to soil types and weather.

“The Havoc yielded 3.7t/ha on average, which is about where Ninja was sitting, while Zen was off by a couple hundred kilos per hectare,” he said.

“On the leased country, Scepter and Mace were averaging about 2.5t/ha. The soil discrepancy is obvious, and this area experienced extremely wet conditions.”

Mr Hayes said the family would not lease land this year, and instead planned on planting a 50-50 split of Havoc and Ninja.

He said last season’s rainfall was average but a lack of rain at the start of spring hurt yields.

“The pinched off September is what hurt all our country,” he said.

“We basically had no rain in September and a bit in October.”

The Hayes grow canola and barley, with a 450ha canola program including Roundup Read varieties Hyola 404RR and Dynagrow.

They also grew OP TT variety Bonito, after coming “off a large canola crop in 2017”, which drove last year’s plantings down.

“This year we’re going all RR for weed control reasons – we’re testing for clethodim resistance,” he said. “So we’re sowing Hyola 404RR and a different RR variety.”

Havoc is marketed by Pacific Seeds, bred by LongReach Plant Breeders and is now free to trade farmer-to-farmer.

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