THE CHAIRMAN of a Queensland-based grower research organisation has questioned the worth of sorghum variety trials as part of the National Variety Trial program.
Damien Scanlan, of the Grains Research Foundation and a Goondiwindi-based grower, said the divergence of planting times in sorghum meant it was difficult to compare varieties accurately.
“With the winter cereals you generally have a two week planting window, but in sorghum it can be spread out over months,” Mr Scanlan said.
“It can mean the results can be skewed so much that they are not necessarily that useful,” he said.
“I am not sure farmers are consulting the NVT data when they are making their choices in terms of what sorghum varieties to grow.”
Mr Scanlan said GRFL was investigating whether growers would be more interested in seeing the money used to conduct sorghum NVT work poured into other areas of sorghum research.
“We may be able to switch funds over to research into improved cold tolerance or better yielding varieties.”
“The NVT concept is fine when it comes to the winter crop where planting times are more uniform, but I am not sold that it performs the same function when it comes to sorghum due to the variety of styles of growing sorghum.”