A new wheat variety has been launched that is set to replace currently grown Clearfield wheat varieties.
Having been in development by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) over the past seven years, Tomahawk CL Plus is set to become a landmark variety in the Clearfield wheat space.
The variety was officially launched at field days in South Australia, Victoria, WA and southern New South Wales last week, highlighting the wide range of environments that it suits.
Clearfield varieties across many crop types are now common, with tolerance to imidazolinone herbicides allowing for in-crop control of many weed species.
Historically however, wheat varieties carrying this herbicide tolerance trait have come with a yield penalty compared with the leading conventional wheat varieties such as Scepter.
"We have been striving to reduce the yield gap between Clearfield and conventional wheats for a long time now and have finally made a breakthrough with Tomahawk CL Plus, which has yielded towards the top of the pack, a little above Scepter", said AGT wheat breeder James Edwards.
"Tomahawk CL Plus is derived from Scepter and carries a lot of similarities.
"Other than holding an APW quality classification rather than AH, it's extremely similar.
"If you've grown Scepter before, you will be very comfortable with Tomahawk CL Plus".
Scepter's high and stable grain size and test weight, good sprouting tolerance, wide adaptation, mid season maturity and disease resistance package are all traits of Tomahawk CL Plus.
AGT manager of variety support for South Australia, Brad Koster expects strong support for the new variety.
"There's no doubt growers will be interested in Tomahawk CL Plus as a direct replacement for varieties like Razor CL Plus, Chief CL Plus, Sheriff CL Plus, Grenade CL Plus and Kord CL Plus, but I can also see it being treated as a 'conventional' wheat too, due to its high grain yield and other agronomic advantages," Mr Koster said.
"If you grow a paddock of Tomahawk CL Plus and don't need to use the Clearfield herbicide in-crop, then you won't be wishing you grew a non-Clearfield variety instead.
"There is no yield penalty by choosing to grow Tomahawk CL Plus instead of a variety like Scepter."
In WA, AGT variety support manager Floyd Sullivan said this was the breakthrough in Clearfield wheats that growers were looking for.
"We've been a bit limited with choice in the Clearfield wheat market in WA, with Chief CL Plus becoming the dominant Clearfield variety, but with a large yield penalty relative to Scepter," Mr Sullivan said.
"Tomahawk CL Plus has been an absolute standout in AGT and NVT (national variety trials) testing so far, and I expect it to become the clear choice for any grower looking to control weeds in-crop or as a plant back option to mitigate the risk of imidazolinone residues".
Tomahawk CL Plus seed will be is available for the 2024 season through AGT Affiliates or local retailers.
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