Made of tough stuff – sorghum takes the prize despite dry conditions

Made of tough stuff – sorghum takes the prize despite dry conditions

September 29, 2021

For many growers, the best reward is seeing their crop perform well during tough conditions, but for some, there is the added bonus of growing a two-time award-winning crop during ongoing drought.

Brazil Farming Co Farm Manager Paul Dieckmann was thrilled when a variety of sorghum he’d been growing for nearly a decade – Pacific Seeds’ MR-Bazley – took first and third place at the 2021 RACQ Toowoomba Show.

Mr Dieckmann took first place in the dryland grain sorghum competition for his 7189kg/ha sorghum yield of MR-Bazley and third place for the same crop at 6827 kg/ha at the property “Trifel” in Brookstead.

“We were certainly very happy with that result – we’ve been growing MR-Bazley since 2021 when Pacific Seeds first released it,” said Mr Deickmann.

“At the time, we were looking for another variety to try out, and have been growing it ever since. Because we’re a dryland farm, MR-Bazley fits really well on back-to-back sorghum when you’re growing sorghum year on year out. It’s a very tough variety that can handle tough conditions – I find that when the conditions are dry, it gives a pretty good yield and when the weather is on your side you get an excellent result.

At the time that Mr Dieckmann was planting his now award-winning crop, parts of Australia were still reeling from prolonged drought – with summer rain not coming through until late January.

“We were coming out of that awful drought period, and we almost gave up planting because the rain didn’t come until much later than hoped, we nearly decided it was too late to plant a crop,” said Mr Dieckmann.

“But we took a chance and planted anyway and planted MR Bazley on some corn ground and fallow sorghum ground and that’s where those winning yields came from. We’ve had some yield tests done on our current crop and MR Bazley is performing well. Fingers crossed for the next Toowoomba show.”

MR-Bazley’s proven performance through harsh conditions has established its reputation as the best choice for tougher environments.

“That’s why we were keen to try MR Bazley back in 2012, it looked like it would be a good fit for us, and that’s certainly been the case.

“We also run another Brazil Farming Co property up towards Millmerran and we use MR-Bazley because it works really well in those conditions.

“It’s just a good all-rounder variety – when conditions are favourable it can really yield a top end yield, but even when conditions aren’t as ideal it still can perform really well.

“Our recent win at the Toowoomba show is a good example of that – we didn’t start that season on the best foot, but MR Bazley performed really well, and the yield outcome was excellent.

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