Growers benefit from greater sorghum choice
For many years the Australian grain sorghum seed market was dominated by just a couple of companies that bred and released new varieties. That gave growers limited choice, but more recently the doors have opened. More companies have come onboard and committed to investing in the development of new varieties and the results are flowing through.
Heritage Seeds released HGS-114 a few years ago and the company’s Northern Commercial Manager, Rob Johnston, said grower feedback on the new variety has been very positive.
“Over a number of seasons, trials have shown HGS-114 to be a high yielding grain sorghum option, well suited to softer dryland and irrigated conditions in eastern Australia,” he said.
“Independent trials have shown HGS-114 to be one of the most consistent hybrids on the market. Across all yield ranges and soil types HGS-114 is the hybrid that can be counted on year in year out.”
“It has an impressive package of very good seedling vigour, good standability, very good head exertion and head uniformity and ultimately, high yields,” Mr Johnston said.
Scott Commens who helps to manage two farms mid-way between Dalby and Cecil Plains was one of the first growers to try HGS-114. After three years of growing the variety he said he is impressed. It’s been a good crop to plant and proven to be high yielding.
“HGS-114’s delivered consistently good grain size, colour and standability across the seasons and has barely fallen over on us at all,” Mr Commens said.
“In the tough summer we had the year before last, most of the HGS-114 was dryland grown. It was planted on good moisture, but only received an inch or two of rain after planting up until harvest. It still went 1.25t/acre (3.1t/ha).
“The summer just gone was the second time we’ve had it under centre pivot irrigation and it averaged 3.5 t/acre (8.7t/ha) under irrigation, which was exceptional.
“Another variety we also planted had the same paddock history, the same chemical and fertiliser inputs and the same water. It averaged anywhere from a ton to half a ton per hectare behind. Everything with the two varieties was the same, so it was a mystery to us as to why the competitor was lower yielding.”
“HGS-114 seems to perform under good conditions and under tough conditions. Irrigation or not, it’s been a stellar variety.”
According to Brent Scott, Heritage Seeds’ Summer Crop Portfolio Manager, HGS-114 has proven to be a terrific all-rounder, with many similar stories to Scott’s since the variety was launched.
“The dry weather has made it very tough for farmers to try new varieties, as there’s always an inherent risk in trying something new. But what we’re finding is that HGS-114 is incredibly versatile. It performs well across a number of geographical locations and is one of the most stable performing hybrids on the market”.
“As part of the Barenbrug Group, Heritage Seeds places a lot of importance on bringing tried and tested hybrids to the market place. We invest a lot of time in selecting and growing varieties that will deliver value to our customers, and allow them to grow their business with confidence. Stories like Scott’s are always a good reminder that we’re doing a good job,” Brent said.
Scott Commens farms south of Dalby and has grown HGS114 with great results yielding 8.7t/ha irrigated last season.