GREAT RESULT: Slashing oats in the year’s best crop at Seelands is share farmer Peter Caldwell.
GREAT RESULT: Slashing oats in the year’s best crop at Seelands is share farmer Peter Caldwell. Debrah Novak

Experimenting with oat varieties pays off on Clarence farm

THERE is nothing Seelands farmer Tony Ryder likes doing more than dabbling in experimental crops, and he has struck a winner with an oat crop he has just finished baling.

Mr Ryder said they were the best oats on the Clarence River, no question about it.

"This was planted on new country May 10. We didn't do any pre-fertilising at all," Mr Ryder said.

"And from about four to five weeks of post-emergent we got roughly 50 kilos to the acre.

"They're estimating 600 bales off three acres. With regular seeds, if you get 80-100 bales you're doing well."

Mr Ryder said he had been a farmer for 25 years and worked with different strains of oats before, but had never seen results like these.

"For the minimal amount of work we've put into it and the minimal amount of fertiliser we got a big crop," he said.

"I don't treat farming as a gamble, but it exceeded our expectations.

GREAT RESULT: Slashing oats in the year’s best crop at Seelands is share farmer Peter Caldwell.
GREAT RESULT: Slashing oats in the year’s best crop at Seelands is share farmer Peter Caldwell. Debrah Novak

"This crop has a lot of resistance to rust. For what the crop was it didn't have a lot of rust compared to what we've had before.

"A lot of crops will get brown in the leaves when you're ready to harvest.

"We didn't get a lot of rain initially. It was only in the last six to eight weeks with wet weather that it started to kick off."

Mr Ryder said the new seeds came from a property at Gunnedah.

He said the oats had been experimented on for about four years.

Mr Ryder said the Clarence Valley had a humid climate compared to Gunnedah so it was uncertain how they would go.

"We were lucky enough to get some seeds to see if they would work in our area, and they most certainly do," he said.

"It's a crop that we can grow in the future and other growers will be able to benefit as well.

"We will do another crop next year of the same variety and then it will be released into the marketplace.

"In the next 12 months they will be available here for sale."



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