Late rainfall helps grow grand champion wheat
A STRONG finish to Kym Lienert’s Mace wheat crop last season allowed the grain to “fill out” and award the Shea-Oak Log farmer grand champion wheat at the recent Royal Adelaide Show.
The sample that gave Kym and his father Edlin Lienert their first grand champion accolade in 20 years of exhibiting came from a wheat-on-bean stubble crop and scored 96.3 from a possible 100, which included an 18.5 our of 20 for protein.
“It was a bit of a surprise because we rarely get a wheat that can compete with other areas,” Kym said.
“In this district we find it hard to get a high protein in the wheat because of our high rainfall area, whereas normally the Mallee or lower rainfall areas get the higher protein.
“Plus you get less protein in heavy crops and we reap more than five tonnes a hectare.”
Kym said the crop received a light coating of pig effluent, sourced from his 400-sow piggery, at sowing, along with 150 kilograms of urea.
“We aim for at least a 5t/ha crop, but last year it got up to about 7t/ha.
“If we hadn’t got the late rain, we may have ended up with smaller grains, but we had a good finish so the grain filled out.”
Always looking to test new varieties, the Lienerts sowed their first crop of Jumbo2 lentils last year. A sample was also sent to the show, and won champion pulse.
“We had never grown lentils before and thought they were too small, but we sent some in and came out with best pulse,” Kym said.
The Jumbo2 lentils scored 90 out of 100 and scored 9 from 10 for style and appearance, with the judges praising the low levels of disease across all classes.
The crop averaged 3t/ha for the season.
Kym crops 650ha of wheat, barley, canola, beans, peas and lentils and this season, canola took precedence, making up about 35 per cent of the crops sown.
Kym also swapped wheat variety from Mace to Scepter wheat.
“Scepter apparently has a better yield and good disease control,” he said.
“I’ll keep the Scepter for a while, but will consider implementing APW Trojan wheat next year in the rotation.”
Despite one of the driest starts to the season the Lienerts had seen, Kym said mid-July rainfall turned the season around.
“When we sowed in late April, we had hardly any moisture and for about four weeks, the crops just sat there,” he said.
“From mid-July the crops have not stopped growing, it’s probably the perfect year at this stage.”
BESIDES spending most of his time working in the crops, Kym Lienert’s farm at Shea-Oak Log also involves a 400-sow piggery.
Mr Lienert employs three staff to run the piggery so he can concentrate on cropping.
He utilises the liquid pig effluent in the cropping side of the business to add phosphorus and natural fertiliser to the soils.
“The farm is a simple operation, but being a one man band makes for ultimate organisation,” he said.
“We’re not big farmers and my theory is not to take on too much, just enough to do it properly.”
Mr Lienert does the hard yards in the paddocks himself, but occasionally has the help of his father Edlin.
Although “retired”, Edlin can be found driving rollers when the need arises and is always about to help with drop-offs, pickups and moving paddocks.
Farming runs in the Lienert bloodlines, with Mr Lienert’s ancestors settling the original farm at Shea-Oak Log in the late 1800s.
“Back in the day it was just cropping and sheaved hay,” Kym said.
“Dad can remember running a team of draught horses pulling the plough, he had to clean the stables and feed the horses before the upgraded to a Massey Harris 744 diesel tractor.”
The Lienerts first tractor is on display at the Shea-Oak Log museum.
The cropping program has changed from 40 years ago, when it was primarily wheat, barley and peas.