Titan 7 Spark

Grazier and lucerne hay producer, Rod Spark from Woolomin, south east of Tamworth, is onto a winner with Titan 7 lucerne.

It is giving him high quality hay, good yields and importantly, the flexibility to graze his second cross prime lambs over winter.

Titan 7 is one of two new winter active lucerne varieties from AusWest Seeds that are finding a place on farms from the Darling Downs to southern New South Wales.

“After growing Saudi 7 for the last three years, I was looking for another option to compare varieties and my agronomist suggested Titan 7,” Mr Spark said.

“I’ve got to say it has been a positive experience.”
Titan 7 is giving Rod Spark from Woolomin high quality hay, good yields and the flexibility to graze lambs over winter.
Titan 7 is giving Rod Spark from Woolomin high quality hay, good yields and the flexibility to graze lambs over winter.
Mr Spark grows up to 50 hectares of lucerne hay under irrigation, aiming for prime grade for horse feed markets around Sydney and on the coast.

“The paddock where it was planted is a bit sandier than the rest of the farm and crops can take longer to establish there, but bearing that in mind, it has established and yielded very well for the first season.”

The paddock was sown in early June 2013 at a planting rate of 23 kg/ha. By March 2014 it had provided five good cuts of hay, with another cut planned before colder weather and shorter drying days put an end to the season.
The hay quality has also been good.

“Titan 7 is providing lovely soft, leafy, fine hay and also responding very quickly after cuts,” he said.Over winter, the new lucerne stand will be rested, while older lucerne paddocks are grazed by prime lambs.

With this treatment, he expects that Titan 7 to be even higher yielding in its second year of cutting. Lucerne stands are expected to grow for a minimum of four years on the farm, with around 10 hectares sown each year. “I’ll be planting another eight hectares of Titan 7 again this year, in a deeper, loamy soil profile to enable direct comparison with other varieties in nearby paddocks,” he said.

He is planning to increase his seed rate at planting to 25 kg/ha.

Titan 7 and Titan 9 were bred in Queensland by renowned lucerne breeder, Professor John Irwin. Titan 7 is resistant to Phytophthora root rot, one of the most important diseases in lucerne, and highly resistant to three strains of Colleotrichum crown rot. It has also proven to be highly resistant to insect pests like spotted alfalfa aphid and blue green aphid.

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