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Syd and Earl Worsfold were named 2019 supreme award winners in the United Wheat Growers wheat competition awards recently. The pair also won the feed wheat section.
Earl Worsfold farms in partnership with his parents Syd and Trish Worsfold on 400ha, including 260ha which Earl leased from a neighbour.
They typically sow about 200ha a year in wheat, with Earl’s focus being more on feed grains.
He said the win was a welcome second award for the family, after Syd was named Federated Farmers arable farmer of the year last year, marking a 30-year commitment to the sector.
‘‘This year things seemed to line up well for us in what was quite a difficult start,’’ Earl Worsfold said.
‘‘The crop got away well, but then we lost a lot of sunlight over December, which set things back a bit.
‘‘We picked it up and the winning crop came off our dryland crop. This season, I think dry land farmers would have done as well as irrigated.’’
The Worsfolds entered a 13 tonnes a hectare winning crop, using the Graham hybrid, one Earl Worsfold said had more than proven its worth.
‘‘We just look at the FAR (Foundation for Arable Research) trial results when selecting and this was one that definitely stood out.
‘‘It’s been pretty exceptional for us. The seed weighed well and every truck that collected the grain was very full.’’
Competition judge Tim Dale said the growing season had in some ways been the opposite of the year before, with significant wet, overcast periods leading up to early January.
‘‘The long spell of overcast conditions was not good for ripening and also bought significant disease challenge to crops.
‘‘This did tend to reflect in the end result this year, with average wheat yields down about two tonnes a hectare, or about 20%.’’
He said many growers would have been disappointed with their final yields and quality, but the challenges were typical for this season.
-By David Hill