Sorghum comes through for Darling Downs croppers

“Farming is all
about opportunity. We take the gamble on
prices and weather forecasts – sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t,”
he said.

He
planted
some ground to mungbeans in summer and wheat and chickpeas in winter, but
principally remained dedicated to his mainstay crops – a decision that paid
off.

With 280mm
of growing season rainfall (GSR), 110 units/ha nitrogen
and 40kg/ha Starter Z, his March-harvested MR-Apollo sorghum hit nine tonnes
per hectare (7.5t/ha average).

That
was followed by MR-Taurus on 8.357t/ha (7.1t/ha average) and MR-Buster on
8.282t/ha (7t/ha average).

Mr Bailey runs cropping
operation Woodlands Partnership with
wife Carmen, son James and parents Ross and Coral.

They
have four properties spanning 2400 hectares: Denby, Isham, Jamah and Woodlands.

He
entered the October-planted MR-Buster in the local Pittsworth Show dryland
sorghum category and scored first place.

“We’ve
been growing Buster sorghum here for many years, because it’s a good
all-rounder that produces excellent yields and excellent harvestability.

“Seventy-percent
of the program is Buster, but we like to spread the risk a bit. We added Taurus in a couple of seasons ago
and the newest addition was Apollo last season.

“We
only put in two bags of Apollo to give it a go, but it performed very
well. It’ll be good to put more in on a
broader scale and on different soil types this summer.”

He
said the mix offered the business excellent yields, low screenings, large heavy
grain, good standability and ease of harvest, both for dryland and irrigated
grain sorghum production.

Heading
into a new season, the operation recently invested in lateral move irrigation
equipment and additional grain storage.

“We added a
fourth lateral irrigator about 18 months ago and recently erected an additional
2300 tonne of grain storage.

“Dams and
water allocations provide us with security when things get dry [mainly summer
crops] and the extra grain storage provides us with broader marketing options.” 

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