It’s a tough time to be trialling new crop varieties, but there were still exciting results when AMPS Agribusiness hit the harvesting milestone last week.
Members of the grower-owned group took a look at its sorghum field trials at Gareth Rodgers’ place south-west of Tamworth on Tuesday.
AMPS Agribusiness research manager Matt Gardner said afterwards that, of the 29 varieties grown and harvested, “we had a yield range from 2.8 tonnes to 5.2 tonnes per hectare”.
“Excitingly, there are probably three or four new experimental varieties that are due to be released soon that were topping the yields,” Mr Gardner said.
The dryland crops were planted in early October – “right at the start of the sowing window – probably earlier than a lot of sorghum planted around Tamworth – but that’s helped it in the end”.
“We got reasonable rainfall through October and November, so the crop’s done most of its work before we really hit the heat in January,” Mr Gardner said.
“If we did pick up some kinder conditions and more rainfall around Christmas and early January, potentially that crop could have been 6-7 tonnes to the hectare.”
Other trials are under way in the Mullaley, Gunnedah and Spring Ridge areas.
“At Mullaley, our trials are looking really good and we’re very happy with them,” he said.
“There’s a trial at Spring Ridge that looks good, and some irrigated stuff around Spring Ridge looks good as well. Four trials on the southern part of the Liverpool Plains, south of Spring Ridge, are all struggling.”
AMPS growers will also get together at Bundella later this month to review their winter crop trials.
The topics covered will include wheat and barley variety planting dates; solutions to saline and sodic soils; and herbicide options for linseed and chickpeas.
AMPS’ Tamworth branch is also on the grow.
The team will be moving from the current Dampier Street premises to a bigger spot on Old Gunnedah Road; it’s set to open in early March.