Home > Dalby farmer trials first igrowth hybrid ahead of commercial release

Dalby farmer trials first igrowth hybrid ahead of commercial release

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article image Mr Mickleborough at his farm
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Dalby grower Derryck Mickleborough broke new ground by trialling the first igrowth hybrid, Sentinel IG, ahead of its commercial release by Pacific Seeds this season. One of the first in the world to test the new grain sorghum herbicide tolerance technology, Mr Mickleborough, who owns a 670-hectare irrigated cropping operation at ‘Glenesk’, planted Sentinel IG on 7.5 hectares next to 7.5 hectares of the mainstay variety MR-Scorpio in September 2017.

Since weed pressure was low at the time, he did not utilise the weed control component of the new technology, instead focussing on yield results. Having planted Scorpio for two seasons and realising high yields, he wanted to compare it with Sentinel.

Though Mr Mickleborough didn’t use Sentinel for weed control, they would be interested in using this aspect to tackle summer weeds when required, particularly in their dryland lease and share farm country.

The 2017-18 sorghum plant began in late September on 1m rows with enough fertiliser applied to aim for 10t/ha yields. Irrigation was done at secondary root stage, followed by the pre-flower stage and then at grain fill. Harvesting on March 20 showed a yield of 9.5t/ha for MR-Scorpio and 8.6t/ha for Sentinel IG.

From this trial, Mr Mickleborough drew the conclusion that Sentinel could be a high yielding hybrid with the added benefit of in-crop weed control. Not only does Sentinel give them an alternative to Scorpio, but it also is easy to harvest thanks to its long stem.

Mr Mickleborough has been farming at the Dalby property for 10 years with father Greg and recently took ownership of the operation. Their summer crop rotation includes cotton, sorghum and mungbeans, while barley and chickpeas are planned for winter.

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