Date: 31 March 2017


The improving yields from corn and sorghum hybrids on the Darling Downs has been recognised with the highest honour in the recently announced RASQ Queensland Country Life Grains Outlook crop competition.

A range of crop types are included in the competition each year with winners named in each category before an overall award is presented for the RASQ Queensland Country Life Champion Crop.

The winning entry came from the Hayllor family of “Kensington Park”, Dalby with the Pioneer® hybrid P1756 yield tested at 17.2 tonnes per hectare at harvest in 2016.

James Hayllor said they used corn in rotation with cotton and had worked to improve the yields of the crop in recent seasons.

He said they averaged 15.5 tonnes per hectare across the paddock, with the half hectare trial for the competition yielding 17.2 tonnes per hectare.

“We were pretty chuffed with that - just over seven tonnes to the acre.  We’ve been trying to push the yields and we’ve gone up every year, the last three years, by over a tonne to the hectare.”

The previous season (2014/15) the yield trial was 16.18 tonnes per hectare with a paddock average of 14.3 tonnes per hectare.

An emphasis on striving for higher yields with corn has produced excellent gross margins and allowed the crop to be a successful rotational tool with cotton.

The Hayllor family took out the irrigated corn section as well as the overall award, RASQ Queesland Champion Crop with P1756.

Maydan Pastoral Company near Warwick was placed second, with Pioneer® P1467 at 16.8 tonnes per hectare, and Elsden Farms at Brookstead were third, with P1756 at 12.6 tonnes per hectare.

P1756 was also the winning hybrid in the dryland corn section with Stewart Free, of Clifton producing a yield of 10.7 tonnes per hectare.

The Peters family of Allora were placed second in the dryland competition with a yield of 9.6 tonnes per hectare.

Pioneer Corn Product Lead, Jason Scott, said the corn results demonstrated the high yields available from the new generation of Pioneer® brand corn hybrids and the improved management techniques of growers.

“There is a real emphasis from many growers throughout Australia to push the boundaries to see just how much yield they can achieve with Pioneer hybrids,” Mr Scott said.

It was also a Pioneer hybrid that took out the dryland sorghum section of the 2016 RASQ competition.

Neil & Lachlan Nass, of “Leahaven”, Jondaryan had Pioneer® hybrid G44 produce a yield of 11.4 tonnes per hectare in an impressive result.

Lachlan Nass said G44 was a new option last season on the property and they decided plant it to fifty per cent of their sorghum crop.

The sorghum was sown in late September and showed excellent cold tolerance when establishing through cooler conditions in October.

“It handled the cool weather extremely well,” Mr Nass said.  “As you went across the paddock o it was bright green and had vigorous growth.”

The G44 winning entry of 11.4 tonnes per hectare came from a dryland paddock that produced an average yield of 10 tonnes per hectare.

Mr Nass said the G44 sorghum looked like a solid 3 tonne crop (7.4 tonne per hectare) and really impressed him with its ability to yield and take advantage of the late rain.

“It tillered fairly well and filled the grain.”

Pioneer Sorghum Product Lead, Rob Crothers said the high yield from G44 on the Nass property was very pleasing.

“The Pioneer sorghum breeding program has been focused on improving agronomic traits in our hybrids to ensure growers maximise yields from the conditions of the season,” he said.

“G44 is a sorghum with excellent cold tolerance, consistent height, good head exertion, standability and an open head.”

“It has good stress tolerance and an ability to adapt to both favourable and poor seasonal conditions.”

Mr Crothers said the focus on harvestable yield was demonstrated by the excellent result.