Winter Sown Sorghum for Central Queensland

GRDC - Author: Darren Aisthorpe (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries), Daniel Rodriguez (UQ-QAAFI), Loretta Serafin (NSW DPI), Joe Eyre (UQ-QAAFI) and Jane Auer (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “To date, the Winter Sorghum project has been systematically kicking goals across a range of environments in the Northern Grains region. The project now has three years of data supporting the resilience and tolerance of germinating sorghum to what were considered unthinkable starting soil temperatures for the crop. And while 12oC would not be a suggested sowing temperature, we now know that acceptable establishment can be achieved at these temperatures, should a cold change come through post sowing. We also know the young seedlings are far more tolerant to a frost event, down as low as -2 oC across multiple sites, with minimal mortalities.”. 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.

  • Sowing time for sorghum can be moved earlier than the traditional 16-18 °C soil temperature threshold without significant negative impact on crop establishment and grain yield
  • At  temperatures of 12°C or greater at sowing depth and good soil moisture at sowing depth, 70% or greater of the target population is usually achieved
  • Testing for seed vigour prior to planting is fundamental as seed lot quality, rather than genetics, is the main driver for establishing a sorghum crop into colder soils.

Figure 2. Sorghum establishment conditions for the Emerald trials over the past 3 years. The blue bars indicate 10-day average soil temperature at 8am after sowing, the grey bars indicate average air temperature at 8 am 10 days after sowing and the orange line shows percentage establishment of the target population.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Author: Darren Aisthorpe (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries), Daniel Rodriguez (UQ-QAAFI), Loretta Serafin (NSW DPI), Joe Eyre (UQ-QAAFI) and Jane Auer (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
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