Success Stories

DOWSeedsLogoGREYRGBDow Seeds launched its first commercial variety in 2015, DS Darwin. Read our Success Stories below to hear how it performed near you.

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Cootamundra - NSW

"DS Darwin is a really pleasant surprise"

We got some Darwin seed via Landmark at Cootamundra. We put it in a paddock with Suntop either side of it.

Looking at Darwin throughout the growing season it’s not a flashy type; Suntop looks more impressive if you’re only going to take in the height and the colour, and all that sort of thing. Even right up until the last time the agronomist looked at it, he thought Suntop would out-yield Darwin.

We had quite a dry spring, but we got that late rain in the beginning of November which must have just helped to get the wheat across the line.

Darwin went about 300 kg heavier, yield-wise than the Suntop. So we’re talking over 5 tonne, which was very handy. It was really a pleasant surprise when the header went through it and it came out above the Suntop; even on the yield map you can see the different colour when it went across that trial of Darwin. The screenings from the Suntop alongside Darwin were around 6%. I was battling all year with the Suntop just to keep the screenings under that 5%. It dropped down to 2.3% on the Darwin straight away. It was a real pleasant surprise, to keep those screenings down a bit. Test weight was up a bit on the Darwin too. So, with the lower screenings, the higher test weight and the yield, Darwin actually outdid the Suntop either side of it.

I’ve planned about ten tonne of Darwin for this year with retained seed to see how it would go across the farm. It seems to be more adaptable to how long the season runs. So I’m hopeful, in a tighter finishing year, we might get that big grain without the high screenings. It seems a pretty good package, all up; with bigger grain size and higher test weights.

- Mr Warren Bailey, Cootamundra NSW

Euberta - NSW

DS Darwin"Darwin was excellent!"

I’ve always based my farming program on legume dominant pastures because we run a mixed farming set up here with sheep and cattle.  We grew DS Darwin where we had had lupins in last year.  We sowed it up one side of the paddock in mid May and then finished the paddock with Suntop.  There was a strip missed which we didn’t know about until the crops came up.  So we sowed that to a late season variety called Emu Rock.  So we had the three varieties there for the comparison.

DS Darwin was an interesting crop in the early stages, it wasn’t as quick to get up and get going as the Suntop was, but I’m not one to frighten off things quickly.  By the time it came out in ear, it was looking very impressive.  The head numbers were there; they were big strong heads.  Then I was quite looking forward to harvesting it. 

I love the straw strength, the standing and the height of DS Darwin; it’s not overly tall.  I think Suntop and some of the other varieties get too tall.  If they get too much fertility they fall over and it adds cost to harvest.  The harvestability of the Darwin was excellent. The yield was excellent.  The look of the grain was excellent. 

To the best of my knowledge Darwin yielded right on 5 tonne to the hectare.  The Emu Rock was down on that, and Darwin also out-yielded Suntop.  When we took a sample of Darwin to a receival point, they tested it, the kg/ha weight was 84 compared to Suntop which was 82.  Protein was slightly better than the Suntop, it would have been around 10.5% and the screenings were better than the Suntop. 

For Darwin to do 5 tonnes straight off the lupin crop was very good.  I’m certainly quite encouraged by the harvestability of it, I thought that was excellent.  It’s a very tidy, neat crop to harvest. 

- Mr Keith Edyvean, Euberta NSW

Grenfell - NSW

DarwinGrenfell"It came home with the goods."

We sowed DS Darwin over 6 hectares at 40 kg/ha.  The rest of the paddock was Sunguard and sown at 55 kg/ha.  They were sown on the same day, around 19 May, into a canola stubble.  There were no disease issues.  That paddock had 90 kg MAP, 30 kg urea at sowing, then top-dressed with 80 kg at tillering and then another 40 kg at head emergence.

You could tell the difference between the Sunguard and the Darwin, side-by-side looking at it.  Darwin appeared to be a lighter colour, all the way through the season.  Darwin is a great looking wheat. 

Then when it got to the business end of the season, the only thing that stood out was that Darwin lost its flag leaf about 7-10 days earlier than Sunguard.  As a grower to see that, it really shocked me, but the yield was there, it was really amazing!  I did do plant counts and tiller counts on it, and Darwin did tiller up quite nicely. 

I stripped the Sunguard and it went approximately 4.4 tonne/ha.  Overall, it was APW wheat, so 10-11% protein over a 115 hectare paddock.  The Darwin went 4.6 tonne/ha with the same protein.  So there’s 200 kg.  Screenings were about 2.2-2.3% for Darwin, Sunguard was 4%. 

They both harvested fantastically.  These were a dream to harvest, great.

I’m really happy with Darwin.  It came home with the goods.

- Mr Rob Johnstone, Grenfell, NSW

Lockhart - NSW

Darwinharvest"I’ll put Darwin in again next year."

We grew ten hectares of Darwin this year.  I grew Condo, Gregory and some Merlin in there as well, so I had four varieties.  Everyone was pretty happy as it would be a good trial.  It was sown on 15 May, without any issues.  The machine was calibrated for the Gregory at 60 kg/ha so Darwin went on a little bit light. 

The Condo just flew out of the ground.  Probably in the first month, the Condo was about 100 mm higher than the Darwin.   It never really looked amazing all year, compared to the Gregory, Condo or Merlin in the same paddock.

Then we harvested it all, and I was surprised with the yield.  Gregory yielded 4.1, Darwin 4, Condo 4.05, Merlin 3.9 tonne/ha.  There was really no difference in the yield in the whole lot.  From what it looked, to how it finished, it was a surprise. 

It’s a long paddock, it’s got some heavy soil and has a gully run through a bit, a creek and what have you through the centre of it, but it was all even  as it all washed out the same in every plot.  What was quite interesting, the Condo was out-yielding Darwin in a couple of places in the paddock, but the Condo had variance across the paddock.  From one end of the paddock to the other, Darwin had a consistent yield, it never really changed, like the other varieties.

Darwin is good because it didn’t fall over, it was easy to harvest.  Easy thrashing I’d say.  I’ll put a little bit more Darwin in again next year, get the seeding rate up and see how it goes. 

- Trent Goodan, Lockhart NSW

Marrar - NSW

151214SuntopleftDarwinright"Harvest-wise it out-yielded Suntop by about 300 kg."

DS Darwin was sown mid May.  I saw it very early, it was very slow out of the ground compared to the Suntop, but that doesn’t really matter.  It’s quite a bit shorter in height which is probably a good thing. 

Harvest-wise it out-yielded Suntop by about 300 kg.  I did some testing on it, it was about 2% screenings, Suntop was 7 or 8, so it was quite a bit lower in screenings.  Proteins were very similar, around 10%.  Test weights were very similar around 81-82. 

I think you could replace Suntop.  Suntop has that prime hard quality, but if Darwin’s going to out-yield it, it could be a good option.

John Anderson, agronomist, Marrar, NSW

Southern NSW

"Darwin yielded 4.3 tonne/ha, Suntop was 300kg under it."

I did a trial of DS Darwin across 8 hectares against Suntop.  It was sown in mid-late May.  Both varieties were sown at 55 kg/ha and had the same management all the way through. 

From what I saw, Darwin is a much shorter variety than Suntop.  It was fairly slow growing to start with.  It ended up 15 cm shorter, but had really good heads on it.  It seemed to put a lot of its energy into the head rather than the straw, which is a good thing, I think. 

We had a nice wet winter but there were about five weeks there around September when we didn’t get a drop.  Darwin hung on fairly well, really.  We were happy with a dry finish.

Darwin yielded about 4.3 tonne/ha, and Suntop was 300kg under it.  The screenings were really good: Suntop was 6%, whereas Darwin was only about 2.5%.  Protein and test weight were fairly similar; I think the test weight of Darwin was a bit more.

Darwin was really nice to harvest, and as far as standability goes, it was really good.  It was good to manage, it didn’t fall over at all. 

I’m really considering throwing Suntop out because of the small grain size and screenings we get, and replacing it with Darwin.  At this stage I think I’ll sow a bit more next year.  See how it goes on a broader scale.  I liked it. 

– Grower, southern NSW

Whycheproof - Vic

DarwinVScoutKrisDixonWychproof"We’re really happy with it."

We put DS Darwin in a trial with Scout.  It probably wasn’t a fair comparison as we sowed Darwin about 15 kg lighter than Scout; just trying to get a few more acres done.  DS Darwin was a fraction smaller than Scout and it looked a little behind in terms of growth stage and everything, but come to the end of the year and it all evened up.  It’s probably a fraction shorter and a fraction lighter in colour than Scout but other than that, yield-wise there were no worries at all. 

Darwin was fantastic to harvest, just a delight.   It was good, easy, clean going and the sample just came up a treat.  The sample was so much better than Scout.  The weight was really good, it was all up about 80.  Screenings were excellent, only about 1.5%  (Scout was 2%).  Protein all ended up going about 14% because the paddock had vetch in it last year and it failed, so there would have been a bit of extra nitrogen in the profile.  The dry finish would have helped with the protein too. 

We’re really happy with Darwin.  I showed a few other growers this trial earlier in the year and they’re pretty keen on having a go with it too.  It was nearly identical to Scout with yield but it was so much easier to strip and got a better sample.  The grower is certainly really happy.  He’s got about 12-13 tonne of seed, so he’s planning to put more Darwin in this year. 

– Kris Dixon, agronomist, Whycheproof, Vic