Sowing Grain Sorghum Early: Are We Reducing Risk And Increasing Opportunities?

GRDC - Loretta Serafin (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Mark Hellyer (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Daniel Rodriguez (QAAFI, University of Queensland), Joe Eyre (QAAFI, University of Queensland) and Darren Aisthorpe (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “The earlier sowing time of sorghum provides an opportunity for greater cropping intensity in the system as harvest is brought forward, thus allowing the fallow recharge period to commence earlier than normal. This increases the chances of planting a double crop such as chickpea into a profile with more plant available soil water compared to a traditional sorghum sowing time”.   Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

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.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • Grain sorghum can be sown earlier than traditionally recommended in north west NSW
  • Sowing sorghum earlier than the traditional 16 – 18 °C soil temperature recommendation is possible without negatively impacting on crop establishment and grain yield. As soil temperatures decrease, plant establishment percentages and the time to emergence increase
  • Defining the minimum soil temperature required is still tenuous as temperatures are variable in the late winter/early spring and the risk of mild and severe frosts is still present
  • ’Winter’ sown sorghum achieves earlier flowering and harvest times and subsequently increases the fallow length to the next crop, allowing increased opportunity for double cropping.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Loretta Serafin (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Mark Hellyer (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Daniel Rodriguez (QAAFI, University of Queensland), Joe Eyre (QAAFI, University of Queensland) and Darren Aisthorpe (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
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