Home > Victoria Hill grower trials new sorghum hybrid, gets better yield

Victoria Hill grower trials new sorghum hybrid, gets better yield

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article image Victoria Hill farmers Ted Shooter (right) and his father Ray are among the first to test 'igrowth' sorghum.

Victoria Hill grower Ted Shooter trialled the ground-breaking new grain sorghum herbicide tolerance technology ‘igrowth’ from Pacific Seeds with excellent results.

One of the first in the world to trial this hybrid variety, Mr Shooter tested the new imidazolinone-tolerant grain sorghum line featuring its proprietary igrowth trait prior to the seed’s debut at a series of field days across the summer cropping region in February.

The first igrowth hybrid, Sentinel IG will be commercially available this season.

Mr Shooter, who farms 670 hectares across six blocks under the Bellevue banner, planted 7ha of Sentinel IG alongside his 103ha commercial MR-Buster crop. The sorghum yield across the 110ha was 5t/ha at harvest in early March, with the new hybrid slightly out yielding MR-Buster.

According to Mr Shooter, the harvest was an extremely busy time for them and they didn’t get a chance to conduct a rigorous yield data test. However, they did get an idea after comparing the yields in the header bin.

As a third-generation farmer, Mr Shooter has seen MR-Buster growing in the family’s paddocks for 27 years and uses it as the benchmark for his sorghum program. Having seen Sentinel’s yield, they would have to consider it in the next season.

The crop was planted in the first week of November and received good rainfall throughout the growing season, with 75mm in October, 72mm in November, 92mm in December, 39mm in January and 8mm in February.

Mr Shooter, who grows sorghum and mungbeans in summer and wheat, barley and chickpeas in winter, said some of the biggest developments in cropping for them have been no till and spraying out sorghum.

He explained that the moisture conservation, which no till offered was priceless, while being able to spray out sorghum with Roundup was significant. Killing the plant prevents it from using valuable nutrients and soil moisture, says Mr Shooter who adds that there’s no benefit in keeping a plant alive when it’s physiologically mature and reaches that black point stage.

The grower said igrowth technology could be one of the next great developments in the sorghum industry, especially in flat country where floods create big issues for farmers.

Mr Shooter adds that Sentinel will give them the opportunity to use group B herbicides in-crop to assist in integrated weed control on the family farm.

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