Central QLD farmers look forward to kinder 2015 after toughest year together

After a difficult cropping year
in 2014, Central Queensland farmers and newlyweds Dane and Nicole Lund are
looking forward to kinder conditions in 2015. The couple tackled dry conditions
and record low temperatures at their 10,000 hectare cattle and cropping
enterprise ‘Wondabah’ in Clermont, which they farm with Dane’s parents John and
Victoria.

Though they began their summer
crop season in early February on the back of rain, it didn’t take long for
things to dry out. Compared to previous years, their sorghum crop received
lower rainfall, getting 60mm prior to sowing and 70mm in-crop rain.

The Lunds planted 2,000ha of
sorghum across Wondabah and their newly acquired irrigated block ‘Balanda
Park’, Home Hill using four varieties: Pacific MR43, MR-Buster, MR-Scorpio and
MR-Taurus. Since Pacific MR43 and MR-Buster were proven hybrids in the cattle
region, they were more interested in the performance of their newer varieties.

According to Mr Lund, given the
season, all the crops looked good but MR43 performed the best among all
varieties while Scorpio was in the higher end of the averages. Their best crops
yielded 3.1t/ha, while the rest were solid performers on 2.2-2.9t/ha averages.

A second
sorghum crop was planted at Balanda Park in June to escape the summer storms. The
winter crop to follow struggled more due to minimal rain, but luckily escaped
an icy period in July when Clermont experienced its coldest day on record as
the temperature reached -4.5°C on July 12. This affected their wheat and
chickpeas crops since they had next to no moisture.

Feathertop Rhodes Grass (FTR),
which is expected to make a comeback due to the drier conditions, could be
another hindrance for the farming operation. While ploughing the ground is an
option, it remains a last resort due to the amount of effort they have put into
zero-till practices.

The Lunds are now focusing their
efforts on the upcoming season, hoping for a wetter summer to produce a
reasonable income from a planned 2,500ha sorghum crop.

Pacific Seeds is committed to bringing
the best plant genetics and seed technology to Australia’s farming community.

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