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Sorghum stands up in Southern Qld box country

Sorghum stands up in Southern Qld box country

2016/17 Season

Owners: Don Steffens
Farm location: Felton, Qld
Pioneer® brand hybrids grown: Pioneer® brand G33

Farming predominantly heavy box country at South Felton in Queensland, Don Steffens needs to grow sorghum varieties that stand up well.

This is one of the reasons Pioneer® brand G33 forage sorghum hybrid is amongst the line-up of sorghum varieties he grows on his 485-hectare property ‘Plain Park’.

The dryland operation includes sorghum, mung beans, wheat, barley and occasionally chickpeas to help rotate from summer to winter crop.

Mr Steffens introduced G33 to his rotation four years after having not grown Pioneer varieties for some time.

“Some varieties will fall down in the box country, but G33 seems to handle it well, which is one of the key characteristics I want to see in a sorghum,” he explains.

“It’s a good all-round sorghum and yields pretty well every year - when the going gets tough, G33 doesn’t drop off as much as some of the other sorghum varieties.”

That was no clearer than during the 2016/17 summer on ‘Plain Park’, where after 40 millimetres of rain fell the day after planting on the 2nd October 2016, there was very little subsequent rain.

“We only had a few little five millimetre events through summer until harvest time, and yet the best paddock of G33 averaged about 2.6 tonnes per hectare - given it had no in-crop rain, G33 performed pretty well,” Mr Steffens says.

The performance meant G33 was the best yielder for the 2016/17 season on ‘Plain Park’, which Mr Steffens believes could in part be due to G33 being a quicker growing variety.

“The other varieties all stood up, but they just didn’t yield as well as G33 - in the really hard conditions over the 2016/17 season they just didn’t do as well.

“I grow up to three sorghum varieties to spread my seasonal risk, which G33 helps with, particularly in drier conditions, so it will be one of the varieties I most probably stick with,” he says.


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