Sorghum wants rain

This year we planted sorghum in late September on marginal planting rain. We have been relying on stored moisture and patchy storms to keep the crop moving along. The crop is spread across a few stages with the early planted sorghum starting to fill grain and later sorghum struggling, still putting up a head or flowering. The photos show the earlier planted sorghum, variety ‘Buster’, that has 120kg/ha of pre-applied urea.

Hope you all have a safe, wet and Merry Christmas!

Disc Planter Photo Log

In 2009 we wanted to try out planting with a disc planter with minimum outlay. Up until this stage all planting was done with a narrow point on a tyne. The advantages of using a disc machine is there is less soil disturbance, high planting speeds, better seed placement and lower fuel usage. Down side is there is higher service requirements and conditions need to be just right.

We purchased what seemed to be an old home made shielded sprayer. We removed all the spraying bits so we had an empty bar, painted it and added four support wheels. We then attached 16 Excel Single Disc units to the bar on a 0.66m spacing with the idea to apply urea and plant chickpeas.

The units were a success and in 2010 we bought a complete Excel planter bar and units on a 0.333m spacing which we used to plant 100% of our winter crop in 2011 and 2012.

Full Season Barley Photo Log

This photo log shows ‘Binalong’ barley – a feed variety. With no planting rain we opted to moisture seek which involves planting reasonably deep into the soil profile to chase moisture to establish our crop. As you can see in the photos we did achieve a reasonable establishment. Follow up rain ensured the barley went on the be a success yielding around 4t/ha despite looking like it is low to the ground. The final photo in the series shows harvest activity.

In 2012 we grew our first malt barley crop. See photos here and here.