Byrneside farmer placed in maize competition

November 21, 2017

Cooma's Ian Hamano fell just short of having the biggest yielding maize crop in Australia.

Nathan Heckendorf, from Narrandera, has taken out the irrigated section of the National Maize Competition.

A maize crop grown on the property of Nathan Heckendorf of Narrandera in southern NSW has taken out the irrigated section of the inaugural National Maize Competition, beating Cooma’s Ian Hamano to the title.

Mr Heckendorf’s crop of Pioneer hybrid P1756 was yield tested at 18.36tonne/ha, beating out Mr Hamano who grew a yield of 17.05tonne/ha from Pioneer hybrid P1414.

Mr Hamano grew his corn on Netafim sub-surface irrigation which helped provide the crop with the correct amount of water at the right time.

‘‘Through the growing season water is available according to plant needs,’’ he said.

Mr Hamano said last year’s crop was one of the tallest and most consistent he had ever grown and the sub-surface drip also provided benefits in terms of fertigation and savings on time and power.

Sub-surface irrigation has worked well for Mr Hamano and others chasing high, consistent maize yields.

Mr Heckendorf said it was the highest corn yield ever achieved on the property and it was a trial with planting populations that provided a boost.

‘‘Our best result before was 17.6tonne with 80000 seeds per hectare,’’ he said.

‘‘This year we had two pivots at 80000, one at 82000 and one at 85000.’’

The Australian record for corn — 21tonne/ha — was set during the 2004-05 season at a property in Boort.

First prize in the irrigation category was sponsored by Netafim and included airfares and accommodation to the value of $5000 to attend an overseas event to increase knowledge of the maize industry.

Netafim is the world leader in smart irrigation systems and has been providing drip systems to maize growers in Australia for a number of years.

Paul Elsden of Brookstead in southern Queensland won the dryland competition with Pioneer hybrid P1467 at an adjusted yield of 8.51tonne/ha.

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