A maize crop grown by Ian and Mary Hamono has taken out the irrigated section of the 2018 National Maize Competition.
The Hamonos grew a crop of Pioneer hybrid P1467 on their Cooma farm, south of Kyabram, which was yield tested at 19.54tonne/ha.
The highest yielding crop in the 2017 competition was 18.36tonne/ha.
The winning crop was planted on October 23 last year and was harvested on April 19, with just 6Ml/ha of water used through the summer.
Each season, Mr Hamono carefully considers his cropping options for the area irrigated via both sub-surface drip irrigation and pivot.
The highest yielding crop of 19.54tonne/ha was sown at a rate of 95000 seeds/ha to the variety P1467. Seeding rates vary across the farm, depending upon variety and irrigation system.
The pivot areas this year were sown at 87000 seeds/ha for popcorn. Used for feed, P9911 was sown at a rate of 100000 seed/ha.
The winning maize entry for 2018 was planted following a vetch silage crop that yielded 6tonne/ha of dry matter.
The area was then subbed-up using the sub-surface drip irrigation, then strip tilled and maize directly planted into the moisture. A pre-emergent application of Dual Gold and Atrazine was then applied onto the moist soil.
Mr Hamono said a large benefit of using sub-surface drip irrigation was being able to apply nitrogen to match the crop demand, with a total of 270kg/ha of nitrogen (as UAN) being applied via the sub-surface drip irrigation system during the growing season.
The nitrogen applications started about two weeks after seeding, with about 39kg/ha of nitrogen applied every fortnight until tasseling.
Glen Boal, from Loch Lomond in southern Queensland, won the dryland competition with Pioneer hybrid P1888 at an adjusted yield of 9.31tonne/ha.