Sorghum variety stands up to test

Sorghum variety stands up to test

In a search for an alternative sorghum to his other varieties, Gary Crombie was after a strong yielder, which would also stand up well for harvest.

Gary, who farms at Quirindi in northern NSW, grew Pioneer brand G44 hybrid sorghum for the first time in 2015/16, and found it ticked the right boxes.

“We were looking for a competitive variety to put up against the seed that we’ve grown in the past and I think G44 stacked up pretty well in that regard on our property.

“We chose G44 as we were looking for a good yielding variety with good standability, and we also found the seed was nice and clean,” he explains.

The Crombie’s planted 60 hectares of long fallow sorghum on the 25th October 2015, half of which was G44.

“Planting conditions were actually quite good – we’d just had some rain only two or three days before planting, and it went into long fallow on a full profile of moisture.

“It was sown at 52,000 seeds per hectare and I didn’t actually do a count, but we got a pretty good population up, I was very happy with the germination,” he says.

The nutrition program consisted of a pre-application of 200kg/ha of urea, as well as 1000 kg/ha of manure in place of a starter fertiliser.

Gary says the sorghum looked good throughout the season, in part because of the crop location.

“We were pretty lucky where this crop was, it never really got too badly affected by the dry spells – every time it got dry some rain would just help it along again.

“There were no in-season pest or disease issues to deal with, no midge or grubs this year, so it was all pretty plain sailing – we just did an in-crop Starane™/atrazine spray with 1l/ha zinc on the 8th December,” he explains.

The crop was sprayed out on the 1st March 2016 and harvested over the 10th and 11th March, with a good result.

“G44 showed excellent standability and I was also really pleased with its grain weight, which measured up to 80 kg per hectalitre and the grain itself was a bright red colour.

“We were also very happy with the yield – it was on par with the other variety that we had with an average of around 7 t/ha.

“We’ll definitely be planting some more in 2016, as long as there’s enough moisture,” he says.