Sorghum crop tracks nicely

Rob Kingston plants sorghum on available water

Cropping
 Rob Kingston, Grasstree, Yandilla, and his son Josiah in a crop of A75 grain sorghum under irrigation. Picture - Ben Thrift.

Rob Kingston, Grasstree, Yandilla, and his son Josiah in a crop of A75 grain sorghum under irrigation. Picture - Ben Thrift.

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Better start to the year for Yandilla farmer with 300 millimetres of rain todate.

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Thanks to water available from a combination of creek, weir and underground mains, Yandilla farmer Rob Kingston was able to plant 90 hectares of Pioneer Seeds A75 sorghum at the end of November.

Mr Kingston said in order to establish the crop he pre-watered prior to planting.

In December, he again gave the crop a quick flush, and it has since enjoyed another one and a half waterings, until the rain arrived.

He was delighted to receive 100 millimetres of rain during January and another 200mm in February, giving him a combined 300mm for the year to date.

This is definitely a better start to the year than the past two years," Mr Kingston said.

"The rain also provided some much-needed overland flow, which we captured into on-farm storage.

"With this in storage it has given us some confidence for the season ahead."

The last time there was a full summer crop planting on Grassdale was 2018 but the returns were very marginal.

Depending on how the season shapes up between now and the winter planting window, Mr Kingston will look to plant either barley or chickpeas.

He said his A75 sorghum crop is tracking along nicely and is five weeks off being harvested.

This variety is a Pioneer Seeds higher yielding, hybrid sorghum that became commercially available in 2019.

However, Mr Kingston's crop suffered a little bit of damage this week when a plague of mice invaded the crop.

"Once we noticed the plague, I immediately aerial baited using MouseOff, which was certainly worth it," Mr Kingston said.

He said as soon as the sorghum comes off the header and is harvested, he will sell the crop.

"I will wait and see what we get, but it will probably be destined for the poultry market and I will be looking at upwards of $450/tonne on-farm."

Mr Kingston is currently harvesting a sorghum crop, which was planted in 2018, but regrew after it was harvested last July.

"This crop re-germinated in late winter last year, so we are now doing a second harvest."

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