There was great farmer participation at QAAFI’s Farming Systems Research group Field walk at Warra today.
The GRDC project “Tactical Agronomy for Maize and Sorghum in the Northern Grains Region” (UQ00075) demonstrated super-early sown sorghum (n = 9) and maize hybrids (n = 4) planted at four plant populations. The trial was sown on August 5th (10C soil temperature at 10cm), even though the recommended sowing temperature for sorghum is 16C and increasing and for maize 12C and increasing. The crops were exposed to four frost events of at least -1C on the 20th, 21st, 28th and 30th of August.
Despite some leaf-reddening in sorghum, no plants were lost to frost damage in either the maize or sorghum.
James McLean explained the value of using drones for quickly and inexpensively measuring crop parameters on large agronomic trials e.g. plant counts, biomass and leaf area.
Joe Eyre explained the design of our Monosem precision planter and lead a tour of the sorghum and maize trials.
As expected the development and growth of the maize was more advanced, reflecting higher cold tolerance.
The event closed with a demonstration of the latest developments in planter technology with Andrew Farquharson of Toowoomba Engineering.
We thank Wade Bistrup of 'Prospect' for hosting the trial and field day, the attendees for their interest and enthusiasm, and the GRDC for investing in this research.