Top re­sults for sorghum crop

Pil­lar sorghum crop yields 8.4t per hectare

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

PASPALEY Pas­toral’s flag­ship 18,000-hectare prop­erty has re­ported one of its best summer crop­ping sea­sons in re­cent me­mory.

Agronomist and crop­ping man­ager An­drew McFadyen, of Kur­ra­jong Park at Coolah, New South Wales, said the back­bone crop sorghum pro­duced some of the best re­sults he had seen.

“It wasn’t a bril­liant sea­son in rain­fall terms, but we man­aged to grow handy dry­land crops due to timely in-crop rain­fall and smart pad­dock prepa­ra­tions,” he said. “We planted 35 hectares of Su­per­dan 2 for­age in Oc­to­ber be­cause it’s tried and proven in this area for hay and we were shoring up sup­ple­men­tary feed for weaner cat­tle.

“The first cut was in early Jan­uary and the sec­ond was in March, with both cuts hav­ing a high yield. The later frosts also gave us an ex­tra six weeks’ graz­ing, so we were able to graze bulls on the re­growth un­til May.

“The 1665ha of grain sorghum again proved a pil­lar crop in the ro­ta­tion, es­pe­cially on the long fal­low, with top end yields of 8.4t/ha for MR-Taurus, while MR-Buster was just be­hind it.”

Kur­ra­jong Park fea­tures 12,500ha of hills and un­du­lat­ing val­leys for shel­tered graz­ing for cat­tle and sheep, and 5500ha of broad­acre plains of deep black soils ideal for summer and win­ter crop­ping.

Mr McFadyen said sheep and cat­tle were gen­er­ally grass-fed on tem­per­ate pas­tures and sub­trop­i­cal grasses, but were also sup­ple­men­tary fed on graz­ing oats, dual-pur­pose wheat and for­age sorghum.

“We tar­get 20,000 tonnes of grain per year con­sist­ing of summer and win­ter ce­re­als, oilseeds and pulses, which of­fers flex­i­bil­ity and di­ver­sity in the crop­ping ro­ta­tion.

“You want di­ver­sity in the crop­ping ro­ta­tion, so over the years we’ve grown crops like wheat, canola, bar­ley, oats, sorghum, chick­peas, corn and mung beans. Not all of them have stayed on in the pro­gram, be­cause you have to fac­tor in mois­ture, prices, pad­dock ro­ta­tion and so on.

“We will be keep­ing sorghum in the ro­ta­tion for sure due to the yield, stand­abil­ity and ver­sa­til­ity of the crop, and add in other crops when the need arises.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

PROUD FARMER: Paspaley Pas­toral agronomist and crop­ping man­ager An­drew McFadyen.

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