Grains Research Foundation Blog

Grains Research Foundation Blog

Controlling Grass Weeds in Sorghum

Meg Kummerow - Thursday, February 19, 2015

I took a drive around our district yesterday to see what was happening arround the farms. A few farmers were harvesting in an attempt to beat the coming cyclone threat. Some had finished harvesting (damn you irrigated sunflower grower, I needed a photo of you in that crop!).

Most farmers in our area are aware of the importance of controlling weeds on farm. Most would have some form of integrated weed management plan in place. Not only do weeds make your farm look messy (maybe I just come from a family who are rather particular!), they also can have a serious impact on yield, harvest and grain quality.

One of the farms I drove past had a serious grass issue in their sorghum (that's it in the photo!). Not only will it affect their crop yield, but in a flood event these weed seeds will spread to both neighbouring farms and farms further down-stream.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some resources around that may assist you to make weed management decisions. As always, consult your agronomist for a more considered view of your issues and current and future crop requirements for your area and situation.

First up, the GRDC's Sorghum Grownotes have a section on weed control (as do all commodity GrowNotes). Whilst not a in depth view of options available, they can point you in the direction of other resources that may be of assistance.

One of these other resources is the NSW DPI 'Weed Control in Summer Crops 2012-2013'. This is a fantastic resource which contains a lot of information from crop rotations to pre & post-plant grass and broadleaf weed control. It also contains information on legal responsibilities in pesticide application, although from a NSW perspective.

Another resource available on the GRDC website is the Integrated Weed Management Hub.  Containing the Integrated Weed Management Manual, this is a broader look at managing weed & minimising resistance over the long term.

DAFF QLD also have a broad Weed Management section available on their website.  Whilst no specific details on managing grass weeds in sorghum, it is still a handy resource.

What are your go to resources for finding out about managing in crop or pre & post-crop weeds?  I'll update this document as you share them with me.

I'd also like to know what information you'd like me to dig out next? Is there a specific topic that you'd like me to find out resources or information on?

Until next time, 



Where is the #From1Grain Tour Visiting?

Meg Kummerow - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The #From1Grain tour participants have finished their first day on the tour - but where did they visit?  Each day the group will blog about their experiences, what they learnt and what outcomes can be brought back to Australia to improve our industry.

Day One saw them visit the USDA Agricultural Research Service - Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research Station at Lubbock.  John Burke gave the group a tour of the site and of the research currently being undertaken. This was followed by a meeting with the National Sorghum Producers and Sorghum Checkoff looking at the role of these organisations in developing & supporting the industry and research and development (R&D) priorities.

 Tour group visiting Mike, Hannah & Jacob Henson of Henson Land & Cattle

The last visit of the day was with Mike Henson of Henson Land & Cattle, who farms 8,000ac consisting of mainly sorghum, cotton and wheat in addition to a 450head cow/calf operation. 

On day two (Tuesday 19th) they will visit Chromatin Inc and Dupont Pioneer, viewing seed breeding and research that happens at these two major companies.  They will also visit Tulia Feedlot for a look at the end use of sorghum. 

Wednesday 20th is a travel day as they head on to Austin to attend the Ag Chat "Cultivate & Connect" Conference on Thursday & Friday.

This conference will give the group a greater understanding of the importance of Social Media for Agriculture and how to best utilise it for sharing their story.  Over one and a half days the conference will look at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms and I am sure they will all come away with some great tips to share.

Saturday we give them a break prior to departing Austin on Sunday morning for Schwetner, where they will tour Capitol Land and Cattle.  Capitol Land and Cattle is one of the largest Livestock Dealers in the US and have been in business since 1946.  After lunch in Temple, they are off to Little River Academy to Little L Farms, owned by James Kamas.  James is a sole proprietor and operator of (L River)3 Farms and works approximately 2,350 acres of cultivated land and grows; small grains (wheat and oats), corn, grain sorghum, and cotton. Crop acreages are roughly divided equally among these four crop categories. Of the acres that Mr. Kamas farms, only 190 acres are owned while 1,020 are share rented, 810 acres are cash leased, and 325 acres are custom farmed.

Mr. Kamas resides on the family farm where he grew up helping his father farm the 190 acres that the family owns. He received a BSChE degree from the University of Texas in 1970, and applied his engineering skills while working at a petroleum refinery, contract maintenance/construction firm, and environmental engineering/consulting company until 1996.

Monday & Tuesday will be spent at Texas A&M University looking at sorghum plots & research and other topics under the AgriLife Research Section.

 We would like to take the opportunity to thank Shelee Padgett and the National Sorghum Producers for organising all of the marvelous tour stops that will give teh attending farmers and those that they connect with once back home a great insight into the US Sorghum industry.

The #From1Grain tour participants have finished their first day on the tour - but where did they visit?  Each day the group will blog about their experiences, what they learnt and what outcomes can be brought back to Australia to improve our industry. Read more...

Introducing: the Queensland Farmers attending the GRFL Texas Tour!

Meg Kummerow - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

With only a few days until the tour group leave, it is time to meet the people attending the Grains Research Foundation Ltd's Texas Study Tour!

Follow the Conversation here!

Brendan Taylor - @Warraboy - Brendan was born in Chinchilla and is a third generation farmer from Warra managing a family owned grain production business of 2,000 acres. He is a member of the Darling Downs Research Advisory Committee and a Grower Director of the Grains Research Foundation Ltd.  Brendan is chairman of the Brigalow Jimbour Floodplain Group, a foundation member of Agchatoz.and graduated in 2012 in the Australian Future Grains Leaders Program. 

Ben Coleman - @benjcoleman1 - Ben is a farmer from Mt Tyson growing a variety of grain crops and cotton and comes from a family farm. He is currently a member of the Darling Downs Research Advisory Committee and is a Grower Director of the Grains Research Foundation Ltd.  Ben is the chair of the local Central Downs grower group and has previously worked for a financial institution in Queensland.

James Ryder - @james_jimbobaus - James is a Darling Downs grain producer.  He is a current member of the Darling Downs Research Advisory and is a proud farmer of English, American, Fijian, Australian heritage.

Brett Bidstrup - @brettbidstrup - Brett Bidstrup is a Grain producer from Condamine on the Western Downs Maranoa region and is a current member of the Research Advisory Committee for that region.  Brett is a previous member of the Brigalow-Jimbour Floodplains Landcare group and has completed the Marcus Oldham Young Rural Leaders program. 

Andrew & Margie Milla - @andrewmilla1 - Andrew & Margie are from Surat in Queensland.  Andrew is a current member of the Western Downs and Maranoa Research Advisory Committee.  Andrew is particularly interested in soil science and soil health.

Nigel & Sueanne Gregg@NigelGregg01 & @geesuzie - Nigel & Suzie hail from Middlemount in Central Queensland.  Nigel is a current member of the Central Queensland Research Advisory Committee and has undertaken the Grains BMP program.

Gordon & Meredith Staal@staalgm & @staalmer - Gordon & Meredith are from Gindi in Central Queensland.  Gordon is a third generation dryland grain grower and a current member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Central Queensland region.  Gordon has undertaken Grains BMP.

Michael & Kylie MacTaggart@threemk1 & @bearslagoon74 - Michael & Kylie are from Moura in Central Queensland. Michael has undertaken both the Grains & Grazing BMP programs and was awarded Queensland Young Farmer of the Year in 2003.  He is a current member of the Central Queensland Research Advisory Committee & has been on the committee for a number of years.

Graham Spackman - @gspackman1 - Graham is a Crop Consultant from Emerald in Central Queensland.  Graham has been the Chair of the Central Queensland Research Advisory Committee for many years and we are very fortunate to have him join the study tour.  Graham is interested in fostering profitable grain farming businesses and is looking forward to gathering insights into the Texan sorghum industry that can be implemented into the Australian sorghum production system.

With only a few days until the tour group leave, it is time to meet the people attending the Grains Research Foundation Ltd's Texas Study Tour! Read more...

GRFL #from1grain Growers head to Texas USA

Meg Kummerow - Friday, August 01, 2014

GRFL Grower Tour head to Texas, USA


Encouraging industry participation amongst our younger generation of farmers is a continuing focus for the Grains Research Foundation Ltd.  Following on from a successful round of Research Advisory Committee meetings in March and April this year, a handful of young farmers have been selected to represent the Grains Research Foundation Ltd and the Queensland Grains Industry as a whole on an upcoming tour of Texas, USA.

The 13 tour participants will spend time with the National Sorghum Producers, looking at the Sorghum Checkoff Program, identification and prioritisation of industry issues and industry promotion activities.  They will also visit sorghum farmers, seed producers & end users to expose them to the full spectrum of the American sorghum industry. 

The farmers will also be attending the AgChat Foundations' Cultivate and Connect Conference in Austin, Texas.  Here they will have the opportunity to learn about the growing importance of social media in agriculture and the positive benefits of having open conversations with consumers.  They will meet farmers and ranchers from across the USA giving them a great network to continue working with once back home.

To keep up to date on what they are up to each day, come back to visit the blog for regular updates whilst the group are away or alternatively follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

GRFL Grower Tour head to Texas, USA