Seed Preparation Key to Good Start for NSW Grower

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Getting your crop off to a good start begins with quality inputs and seed preparation according to New South Wales grain grower Peter Finlayson. 

Peter and Eleanor Finlayson are dryland broadacre crop and sheep farmers from Berrigan in NSW. Their annual cropping program consists of up to 1400 hectares of wheat, 3–400 hectares of barley, 600 hectares of lupins and 700 hectares of canola on rotation. 

Peter said they’ve realised the long term benefits of having lupins in the rotation. 

“Growing lupins really helps in putting nitrogen back into the soil,” he said, “especially for the first wheat crop following the lupin crop.” 

The Finlayson’s also run 1,200 merino ewes, which also contribute to their cropping program by eating out paddocks containing hard to manage weeds. 

Peter said every farmer has their own philosophies on how to do things but believes that quality inputs upfront are critical to getting crops off to a good start. 

“We’ve been Hannaford customers for nearly 40 years and believe seed preparation is one of the most important parts of our cropping operation. 

For the last four years the Finlayson’s have used the ‘Hannaford Trio” package of seed treatments – Rancona® Dimension (Ipconazole/Metalaxyl), Guardian® (Imidacloprid) and Zincflo® Plus (Trace element). 

Rancona Dimension is used to target smuts and bunt; Guardian for aphid control; and Zincflo Plus is used as the soils in their area are zinc deficient. Zinc is an essential micronutrient that enhances disease resistance and improves plant vigour. 

“I get more bang for my buck from applying zinc on the seed rather than as a foliar application later on,” he said. 

“I’m really happy using the trio of products on the seed as our crops have always gotten off to a good start using this combination.” 

The Hannaford Trio starts working the moment your wheat or barley seed is planted, protecting the seedling during the vulnerable establishment stage. 

The combination of seed treatments means faster emergence, excellent seedling establishment, and healthier and more vigorous plants for maximum yield potential. The Hannaford Trio are also easy-to-apply, low dust formulations for minimal dust off during application and handling, and easier clean down. 

Peter uses lower sowing rates than most recommendations of 80kg/ha for the area, sowing at 60kg/ha on his grey ground and 50kg/ha on the red ground, which has delivered consistently good results over the years. 

“This season is looking the best it has for a number of years but it’s too soon to get excited yet,” he added. “The most important thing is that you enjoy what you do and have the support of a great partner.”