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Seeding done and dusted at Mt Barker

Aiden Smith

Originally posted on Farm Weekly 4 June 2021

McIntosh & Son

THE 2021 seeding program is done and dusted for Mt Barker mixed farmer Kieran Allison.

Last week Mr Allison was busy on his Miller Nitro sprayer - making his sixth pass over his Pioneer canola crop, applying Intervix and a grass selective at a rate of 500 millilitres to the hectare, mixed with 130 litres of water to the hectare.

The canola was seeded over an old blue- gum plantation and was already out of the ground and looking like it would be a good crop.

Mr Allison was trying to get as much done as possible before the weekend rains hit.

The canola was already out of the ground and looking like it was going to do well, similar to the barley and wheat.

He said the soil temperature had been sitting at 16-17 degrees until recently which had helped the growth of the crops.

So far this year the weather has been in his favour with 213 millimetres to Friday last week.

That was on the back of 650mm last year which saw him achieve above average yield on his Bennett wheat crop - at more than eight tonnes per hectare.

There was nothing but positivity in the air as he and uncle Ross Allison, who works the farm with him, looked over the 30ha paddock of Bennett wheat which was already looking like it was going to be a bumper crop.

Mr Allison began seeding the Bennett winter wheat on March 23 before finishing seeding with barley at the end of April.

He said the long season wheat variety was seeded first and would be harvested last in December.

"The Bennett wheat has a lot of bulk now but it will bulk up even more before it goes reproductive," he said.

"It will thicken up and sit for a while before it starts to grow taller."

McIntosh & Son

Kieran Allison (left) and Ross Allison in the Bennett wheat crop which they began seeding on March 23. They were stoked with the growth rate and bulk of the crop which was first crop they seeded this year and would be the last crop to be harvested in December.

Mr Allison applies growth regulators so it didn't get too tall and for increased straw strength.

When Farm Weekly recently visited, Mr Allison had his New Holland tractor with Morris seeding cart and Quantum bar all prepared for washing down to be stored away in the shed until next season.

He has been a client of McIntosh & Son, Albany, for the past 10 years he has been on the farm.

The latest tractor is a 505 horsepower New Holland T9.560 which has enough grunt to pull the massive set up he has behind it, including a TBT 9445 cart with two 7788 litre granular tanks and one 7000L liquid tank, followed by a 12 metre Morris Quantum precision seeder and 7000L liquid cart.

Then there's the 30 tonnes of product.

Mr Allison said it had been a fantastic start to the year with 76mm in February, which set him up for seeding.

That was followed by 12.4mm in March and 102mm in April and 24mm so far in May - with more rain expected.

This year was also the first year that he had chosen to airdrop snail bait across the whole of the farm - including the wooded areas.

Usually he spread snail baits on the ground but he found the air drop was cheaper and faster - it was also able to be dropped in the forested areas for better coverage.

He said it was applied at 7kg/ha.

Mr Allison said it had been a busy time of the year - especially with lambing season starting in April.

His uncle monitored the 2500 ewes on the farm during the lambing season and "makes sure everything gets done in relation to that".