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Awards up for grabs at HYC national roadshow

22 June 2022

Growers from around the country who chose to challenge some historical yield potential benchmarks by taking part in the second year of the GRDC’s hyper yielding crops (HYC) awards initiative are about to find out just how hyper their crops really faired against fellow competitors.

Once again, five seminars are planned to take place throughout June and July where winners of the HYC awards will be announced. There are two awards per region up for grabs – overall highest wheat yield and highest wheat yield based on % of yield potential.

Nick Poole, FAR Australia managing director leads the HYC project. “To enable a ‘community’ approach to the HYC concept, the HYC awards program was established in 2020, the aim of which was to enable growers to benchmark the agronomic performance of their crops compared to a regional standard”, he said. “Over 50 paddocks were entered into the 2021 wheat HYC awards spanning from the Albany Port zone in WA through to northern New South Wales and south into Tasmania.”

Craig and Fiona Marshall, who farm near Rennie in southern New South Wales, were the winners of one of the inaugural Hyper Yielding Crops (HYC) awards in 2020 for achieving the ‘Highest Percentage of Potential Yield’ in NSW. They achieved this accolade with 164 hectares of Scepter wheat, which yielded 6.71 tonnes/ha of grain. Mr Marshall said he was pleased to discover the family’s 2020 HYC award paddock ‘Pine Hills’ had the capacity to produce a higher yield than it actually did.

“Our first year in the HYC awards program highlighted that we had the capacity to push our wheat harder than we had previously, particularly in seasons with above-average rainfall,” Mr Marshall said. “As a participant in the programme, we received a comprehensive benchmarking report which allowed for the agronomy decisions of other participating growers to be compared whilst keeping the data confidential, without doubt a fantastic learning opportunity.”

Jon Midwood of TechCrop is the HYC national facilitator, he works closely with regional HYC project officers who have been engaged to assist growers from around the country wishing to take part in the HYC awards programme. Mr Midwood along with each region’s project officer will present the awards and provide growers and advisers with a report interpretation including the potential yield calculations for each region. There will also be a chance for open discussion on lessons learnt in 2021.

In addition to the awards presentations, there will be an opportunity for growers and advisers to hear from the HYC’s crop research leads and discuss results from the 2021 trials and how these compared to the first year of the project. Nick Poole, HYC project lead heads up the wheat research programme; he will co-present with FAR Australia’s research director Dr Kenton Porker who leads the barley research programme and Rohan Brill of Brill Ag who leads the canola research programme.

Mr Poole said “we are extremely excited to hear of the HYC’s 2021 award winners and to learn more about their chosen cultivars and management practices adopted from the first year of HYC research which helped them to achieve these award-winning yields. The number of growers entering this competition has been extremely encouraging and the comprehensive report that is produced for each grower, allowing them to evaluate their agronomic approach compared with other growers in their region has been welcomed.

Growers have raised the yield frontier:

Dr Kenton Porker, FAR Australia’s research director leads the HYC barley programme. “A key feature of the 2021 award paddocks is that many of these paddocks exceeded 100% of our calculated potential yields based on historical yield potential benchmarks related to water and light supply,” Mr Porker said. ”This is without doubt a great achievement, however water was not a limiting factor for yields in 2021, and therefore suggests growers have become better at managing their crop to intercept solar radiation and convert it into yield. This is a key focus of the HYC research sites and it’s great to see growers also breaking through and exceeding our old rules of thumb for yield potential derived by solar radiation. This means yield potential benchmarks have genuinely been raised in the HRZ, and after three years of research we expect to adjust these and provide growers with new aspirational yield targets.

“As part of our 2021 HYC results round up we will present the yields achieved at our five crop technology centres located nationally, but more importantly we will take note of the interaction between genotype, environment and management (GEM) and how these interactions affected the phenology, biomass, final grain yields and overall profit margins.”

Details of events:

July 11, 2022
De Bortoli Wines, 13‐35 Drummond Street, Rutherglen – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

July 19, 2022
Skipton Golf Club, Skipton – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

August 1, 2022
The Gallery, Millicent – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

August 3, 2022
Green Range Golf Club, Green Range, WA – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

August 25, 2022
Entally Lodge, 28 Rutherglen Road, Hadspen, Tasmania 7290 – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

The HYC awards will focus on wheat for 2022 and anyone keen to become involved will have an opportunity to chat to their regional project officer at these events.

The GRDC’s Hyper Yielding Crops (HYC) initiative, led by FAR Australia, is a four-year investment spanning five states (Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia) which aims to push the economically attainable yield boundaries of wheat, barley and canola.

The HYC initiative involves five research centres of excellence, and attached to each of these are five focus farm paddock trials and an innovative grower network charged with taking research and development learnings from small plot to paddock scale. For the third year, growers are now being invited to join these networks and host paddock-scale trials on their properties to enable a “seeing is believing” participatory approach to the research.

The HYC Focus Farm paddock strips, innovative grower network and awards involve Techcrop working with the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia and four farming groups across the HRZ these are Southern Farming Systems (SFS) in Tasmania and Victoria, MacKillop Farm Management Group (MFMG) in SA, Riverine Plains Inc in

NSW and Stirlings to Coast Farmers in WA. Growers, advisers and others wishing to become involved in the HYC initiative can contact their respective state project officers:

For further information on the Hyper Yielding Crops project and associated resources, please visit

A full list of events can be viewed at

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