Full moisture profile sets up sorghum potential

Isolated storms lifted rainfall in south-east Queensland, making the region an exception to the otherwise parched northern cropping zone

Alan Bacon enjoying “an exceptional start” to the summer cropping season.

PHOTO: Sarah Coulton

Alan Bacon was all smiles in December after his early sown sorghum received much-needed rain on his family’s farm near Greenwood on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

The 42-year-old operates a 253-hectare mixed farm with his wife Mandy about 170 kilometres west of Brisbane.

After sowing 100ha of Pioneer® G44 sorghum in early October, Alan was fortunate to record more than 227 millimetres of rain between 1 October and 1 December.

“It’s been an exceptional start to our summer cropping season,” he says. “The soil profile is saturated.”

When Ground Cover caught up with Alan in early December, the Pioneer® G44 sorghum was just pushing out its first head and he was considering planting sorghum across a further 60ha.

Alan says he elected to plant Pioneer® G44 – a new semi-open and medium-maturing variety with a short plant height, large grain size and high yield potential – to spread risk. He has also planted the Pacific Seeds® variety MR-Taurus.

With a full profile of moisture, Alan hopes to harvest 5 to 6 tonnes/ha of sorghum on average, up from a long-term average of 4t/ha.

Alan is handy with a spanner and worked as a diesel mechanic before returning to the family farm. He operates a contract harvesting business to supplement his income.

“That was one of the reasons I planted the G44 sorghum early because I went contract harvesting on 15 October and was away for six weeks, travelling as far south as the Queensland–New South Wales border,” he says.

Alan is enthusiastic about what this year’s sorghum harvest might deliver in terms of income and is hopeful of increased demand from Chinese buyers and local feedlots.

More information:

Alan Bacon,
0418 772 085,


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