A new wheat variety has been launched that is set to replace currently grown Clearfield® wheat varieties.

Tomahawk CL Plus closes the yield gap

Having been in development by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) over the past seven years, the new variety, named Tomahawk CL Plus, is set to become a landmark variety in the Clearfield® wheat space.

The variety was officially launched on Wednesday September 13th at significant field days across SA, Victoria, WA and southern NSW, including the Minnipa Agricultural Centre Field Day in SA and Birchip Cropping Group Main Field Day in Victoria; highlighting the wide range of environments that Tomahawk CL Plus suits.

Clearfield® varieties across many crop types are commonplace on farm these days, with tolerance to imidazolinone herbicides allowing for in-crop control of many weed species. Historically though, wheat varieties carrying this herbicide tolerance trait have come with a yield penalty compared with the leading ‘conventional’ wheat varieties such as Scepter.

This is about to change with the release of Tomahawk CL Plus.

AGT Wheat Breeder Dr James Edwards introducing Tomahawk CL Plus to the crowd at the Minnipa Agricultural Centre Field Day on September 13th, 2023.

“We have been striving to reduce the yield gap between Clearfield® and conventional wheats for a long time now and have finally made a breakthrough with Tomahawk CL Plus, which has yielded towards the top of the pack, a little above Scepter”, explains AGT wheat breeder Dr James Edwards.

“Tomahawk CL Plus is derived from Scepter and carries a lot of similarities. Other than holding an APW quality classification rather than AH, it’s extremely similar. If you’ve grown Scepter before, you will be very comfortable with Tomahawk CL Plus”.

“Think of Scepter’s high and stable grain size and test weight, good sprouting tolerance, wide adaptation, mid season maturity and disease resistance package. These are traits that Tomahawk CL Plus holds, plus Clearfield® tolerance and a nice yield bump”.

AGT’s Manager of Variety Support for SA, Brad Koster, expects a wide application of the variety.

“There’s no doubt growers will be interested in Tomahawk CL Plus as a direct replacement for varieties like Razor CL Plus, Chief CL Plus, Sheriff CL Plus, Grenade CL Plus and Kord CL Plus, but I can also see it being treated as a ‘conventional’ wheat too, due to its high grain yield and other agronomic advantages”.

“If you grow a paddock of Tomahawk CL Plus and don’t need to use the Clearfield® herbicide in-crop, then you won’t be wishing you grew a non-Clearfield® variety instead. There is no yield penalty by choosing to grow Tomahawk CL Plus instead of a variety like Scepter”.

SA Manager of Variety Support Brad Koster, and Wheat Breeder Dr James Edwards.

In WA, AGT’s Variety Support Manager Floyd Sullivan says this is the breakthrough in Clearfield® wheats that growers have been looking for.

“We’ve been a bit limited with choice in the Clearfield® wheat market in WA, with Chief CL Plus becoming the dominant Clearfield® variety, but with a large yield penalty relative to Scepter”.

“Tomahawk CL Plus has been an absolute standout in AGT and NVT testing so far, and I expect it to become the clear choice for any grower looking to control weeds in-crop or as a plant back option to mitigate the risk of imidazolinone residues”.

Seed of Tomahawk CL Plus is available for the 2024 season through AGT Affiliates or local retailers.

Find out more about Tomahawk CL Plus here:

WA fact sheet

SA/Vic fact sheet

southern NSW fact sheet