Singleton corn still a winnerAugust 10, 2020
Despite the 2019-20 season being unusually tough, Singleton dairy farmer John Redgrove and son Daniel still managed to grow enough corn to fill the pit with 10,000 tonnes of silage.
The Redgrove Family, who run 550 milking Holsteins at ‘Rowenvale’, planted 220 hectares of corn last season and saw some good yields.
“In this last season, which we all know was very testing, our PAC 624 corn still yielded about 70t/ha of green chop.
“We planted 220ha of corn including one paddock that was double cropped and ended up with 10,000t of silage under cover, so it’s not hard to work out the PAC 624 was well ahead of the rest if it went up to 70t/ha.
“We did try some short season corn, but never again. We applied the same amount of fertilizer, it received the same amount of water and yielded about 40 per cent less than PAC 624.”
Mr Redgrove said their program has not changed much in the past few years.
“We normally plant a few different varieties because we also grow corn for grain as well and have a long planting window, but our main hybrid we grow for silage is PAC 624 and has been for some time.
“It’s consistently our best variety for both yield and quality (starch) year in, year out.
“It’s still number one as far as I am concerned.”
The Redgroves also planted Sprint forage sorghum last season mainly for hay and with further water restrictions, forage sorghum may play a bigger role in their overall fodder program.
“The Sprint was certainly nice and fine for hay and the quick regrowth was phenomenal.”
Looking to the 2020/21 season, the Redgroves will reduce their corn planting to 60ha due to low water allocations.
“We need to make every post a winner and can’t afford to grow hybrids that are not proven performers for our area, so PAC 624 will once again be our main variety.
“We are reluctant to increase our plant population from 70,0000 seeds/ha as this is a great compromise for us, giving a combination of good yield coupled with a good starch content.
“We may be able to lift our overall yield if we were to plant at 80,000/ha, but that would be at the expense of reducing our grain or starch yield, which is what we want in the finished product.”