Grain research yields results
SORGHUM yield has long been king for growers and now research is investigating how a range of management options from early sowing to plant population and row spacing impact on productivity across diverse northern growing environments.
This trial work is part of a Grains Research and Development Corporation investment into tactical sorghum agronomy.
The GRDC has more than $7.5 million worth of investments into sorghum spread across six primary projects.
Summer grains agronomist Trevor Philp, from Pacific Seeds, said improving yield underpinned his research, but ensuring crop reliability in increasingly variable environmental conditions was a focus.
“Environmental conditions are challenging us now and are predicted to do so increasingly in the future, so we need to look at what we can do to maintain yield and this includes looking at issues, such as, stress tolerance and grain quality,” Mr Philp said.
His research is in its second year, comparing 100cm, 75cm and 50cm row spacings in terms of weed control, and fallow efficiency in the following crop as a result of increased stubble cover.
“It is early in this research and we’ve had some tough finishes to the season, but generally the crops looked fantastic all the way through to flowering,” he said.
“We saw no yield impacts from the different row spacings until we got to areas that historically get under three tonnes a hectare. In those marginal areas where growers would normally go with a wide row or a skip row, the 50cm row spacing performed poorly.”
The GRDC has extended the sorghum agronomy program for five years.