Father-son farming duo achieve remarkable sorghum yield in challenging conditionsJune 9, 2023
Graham and David MacGregor, a father and son farming team near Parkes, have demonstrated their expertise and resilience, achieving exceptional sorghum yields despite facing adverse weather conditions and minimal in-crop rainfall.
Having worked alongside neighbouring farmer Bruce Watson for several years, the MacGregors embraced the opportunity to venture into sorghum cultivation, resulting in remarkable outcomes exceeding expectations.
Determined to make the most of the season, Graham said the father-son duo had to adjust their plans to explore the potential of sorghum when wet weather significantly reduced their intended winter crop area.
“Working with Bruce over the years we have been able to observe some of the great yield results he and his family have been able to achieve in a non-traditional sorghum growing area,” Graham said.
“We commenced the season originally planning to plant 400 hectares of MR Buster, however the season’s unfavourable weather conditions didn’t allow us to get on to our land until November.”
With time constraints and the need for a quicker-maturing variety, the MacGregors made a strategic decision to switch to Viper IG, a new grain variety by Pacific Seeds known for its rapid growth – specifically opting for its quickness rather than its IMI technology.
“The delayed planting meant we had to reduce our intended planting area, planting the sorghum crop at a seeding rate of 2.5kg/ha or 75,000 seeds/ha in early November, which was quickly followed by 75-100mm of unexpected rainfall just two days later, resulting in the crop having to be replanted,” Graham added.
“The quickness of the Viper IG variety meant we were able to replant promptly and mitigate potential yield losses, allowing us to harvest more than two tonnes per hectare with excellent grain quality. A remarkable result considering the crop only received 40mm of total in-crop rainfall, with the highest individual fall measuring 5mm.
“We implemented a comprehensive input management strategy, applying 60kg of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and 180kg of urea per hectare, in addition to two litres of Atrazine and Duel per hectare to control weeds.”
Graham expressed his confidence in sorghum farming and their plans to continue cultivating the crop in the upcoming season, with the successful experiment serving as a testament to their adaptability in the face of challenging circumstances.
The MacGregor’s remarkable sorghum yield highlights the potential for innovation and resilience in the agricultural industry. Pacific Seeds Viper IG is ideal for dryland, limited soil water cropping scenarios and as a late sorghum option due to its quick maturing.