Havoc, a new wheat variety from Pacific Seeds, is seeing a high uptake in
WA’s wheat belt, and one farmer leading the charge is Badgingarra’s Tim Hayes.
Mr Hayes planted two tonnes of Havoc seed over 25ha to trial last season
alongside his four commercial varieties, and after a post-harvest assessment,
will be allocating half the 2019 wheat program to Havoc.
He said the increase to 90 tonnes across 1100ha was justified by the
variety’s ideal maturity and the fact that it topped the yields.
“The quick maturity for a main season plant was one of the main things
we were looking at. We liked the look of it all season with a late start for us
here,” Mr Hayes said.
“An ideal time to sow Havoc here would be early to mid-May, but last
year we actually went late because the canola and lupins went in dry and we
played the waiting game for rain. We received some rain in late May then
started the wheat program.
“From now on I think we’re going to wait to put all our cereals in wet,
because of weed control ‚Äì you get a knockdown before sowing.”
Tim, who is joined by his father David and uncle Paul at the 2800ha crop
and sheep property, ‘Coonawarra Downs’, planted Havoc, Zen (650ha) and Ninja
(250ha) on their home block, while Scepter (670ha) and Mace (230ha) were sown on
their leased country.
Mr Hayes said when comparing yields, he had to consider that the home
block performed better than the leased block due to different soil types and
the extreme 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.
“Then on the lease country, Scepter and Mace were averaging about
2.5t/ha. The soil discrepancy is obvious, and this area experienced extremely
“This year we’re not going to lease any country and just plant 50% Havoc
and 50% Ninja at home.”
Mr Hayes said the season was about average from a rainfall point of view,
but no rain at the start of spring hurt yields.
“The pinched off September is what hurt all our country. We basically
had no rain in September and a bit of rain to finish in October.”
In addition to wheat, the Hayes grow canola and barley.
Their 450ha canola program included Roundup Ready varieties Hyola404RR
and Dyna grow, with the former yielding 400kg/ha more than the latter. OP TT
variety Bonito was also sown.
“We came off a large canola crop in 2017, so hectares were down in 2018.
This year we’re going all RR for weed control reasons ‚Äì we’re testing for
clethodim resistance. 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.