Agronomist takes advantage of igrowth on family farm
October 14, 2019
Being an agronomist means Scott Rogers, Moree, advises farmers during planting, spraying, harvest and any time in between, but being a farmer himself means he can then take those lessons back to the family farm.
It’s a handy position to be in, and one that paid off last season for the sorghum side of his business.
Mr Rogers said in his role as McGregor Gourlay senior agronomist, he was able to observe new sorghum herbicide tolerant technology, igrowth, in its earliest stages.
“I saw how [the first variety] Sentinel IG had performed in various trials from both a yield and weed control perspective,” he said.
Gathering enough information on the crop, he was keen to plant the Pacific Seeds imidazolinone-tolerant sorghum himself.
“I chose to plant 250ha of Sentinel IG to take advantage of the in-crop weed control options that the igrowth technology provided while knowing that it has high yield potential as well.”
Scott farms 815ha property Newstead at Pallamallawa with his wife Maree, planting summer crops sorghum and mungbeans and winter crops wheat, barley and chickpeas.
The crop was planted in the last week of October, which was later than he would normally like to plant, but that was when the rain fell.
He sowed it at a rate of 60,000 seeds per hectare on 60-inch rows into a paddock planted to chickpeas in 2017 and was slated for wheat in 2018 but due to the dry conditions, was cancelled.
The fertiliser program consisted of 140kg/ha of urea pre-plant (in March, due to plan to plant wheat) and a 12L/ha application of liquid Starter at-plant.
Chemical applications included a PSPE mix of Terbyne at 800g/ha and Dual Gold at 1.3L/ha, while the herbicide approved for in-crop use, Intervix, was applied at 800mL/ha.
“The Intervix provided excellent control of yellow vine and grasses that are normally difficult to control in-crop.”
Mr Rogers said as with most areas, it was a hot and dry growing season.
“We received 80mm of growing season rainfall but only half of that would be considered effective, with one good fall of almost 40mm and the rest as sporadic small falls.”
The header went through the crop in the second last week of February, returning an average yield of 3.8t/ha, with a range of 2.3-5.3t/ha – the difference being mainly due to soil type.
Mr Rogers said seeing the technology around the region gave him the knowledge and confidence to implement it at his own farm and will use it in future.
“I’d grow it again. It’s a high yielding variety that provides us with the option to plant into paddocks that may have imazapic residues or provides us with another mode of action for in-crop control of hard to kill weeds.”