Dalby farmer trials first igrowth hybrid ahead of commercial release

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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