James Stonestreet wins inaugural Carcoar Show wheat competition

Blue ribbon crop: Stuart Tait and James Stonestreet in James's Coolah wheat crop just east of Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.

Blue ribbon crop: Stuart Tait and James Stonestreet in James's Coolah wheat crop just east of Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.

Without a doubt, this season is one of the best we've had in years and it's a complete contrast to what wheat growers faced 12 months ago.

Great rain, mild conditions and healthy market prices mean that wheat growers around Blayney are looking at harvests that have eclipsed any in recent times.

In a beautifully ironic way the very first Carcoar Show Wheat Competition is being held in a year when there is no Carcoar Show.

This year there were seven crop entries in the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Lowes Petroleum Carcoar wheat crop with entries coming in from Mandurama, Lyndhurst, Barry, Blayney and Milthorpe.

The winner of the inaugural competition is James Stonestreet from Rockroad Farming Blayney whose crop of Coolah wheat was judged by Peter Wilson from Syngenta as being the pick of the seven.

Grazed during winter the judge estimated that Mr Stonestreet's crop would yield 7.8t/ha of grain and was a well deserved winner of the competition.

"The crop is showing even plant establishment which will provide top end yield," he said.

"It displays outstanding weed control program with an absence of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds."

Steward of the competition Stuart Tait said that not only was the crop one of the best in the Carcoar Show, it was one of the best in the state.

"This crop is just fantastic and to be getting up to eight tonne to the hectare is extraordinary," he said.

This crop is just fantastic and to be getting up to eight tonne to the hectare is extraordinary.

Stuart Tait

As a cool climate wheat grower Mr Stonestreet still has a way to go before harvest, he expects it won't be ready for another eight weeks, and he's watching the skies and the weather forecasts.

"Some of the growers out west have had their crops damaged by the heavy rains, so it depends on what rainfalls we have here and the temperatures we get to coming up to harvest," he said.

Cowra is at the very bottom of the Central region which extends to Tamworth in the north which makes judging difficult as his crop, being in a cooler climate, isn't as advanced as others.

Mr Stonestreet's crop will now compete against other crops around the Central region of NSW before the announcement of the state winner in January 2021.

Matt McRae from Millthorpe was runner up with a crop of Bennett Wheat which was estimated to yield 7.6t/ha and Stuart Tait was third.

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