Victoria Hill grower trials new sorghum hybrid, gets better yield

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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