Farm Table says:
The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.
- Planting early in August/September has less risk than delaying planting later until February for both sorghum and maize. There is little information to support moving sunflower sowing time earlier than currently established sowing windows
- Risks associated with earlier sowing include variable and low soil temperatures resulting in poor establishment and frost risk for all crops. Also, the risk of winter weed competition with young establishing crops. However, the flowering, grain fill and harvest periods are all brought considerably forward
- Late planting (i.e. early February) was not successful for sorghum or sunflower in the 2019/20 season due to damage from birds in sunflower and a combination of ergot, midge and slow grain ripening being affected by frost in sorghum. Maize had few agronomic issues apart from a longer grain filling period and dry down delaying harvest
- Additional research, particularly in maize and sunflower is required to support the conclusions in this paper before adoption by growers.
Figure 2. Maximum and minimum temperatures at Breeza 2017-18
Blue rectangles indicate flowering periods associated with the three sowing times