NEW TECHNOLOGY: Pacific Seeds' Andrew Short with new grain sorghum variety Sentinal IG.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Pacific Seeds' Andrew Short with new grain sorghum variety Sentinal IG.

Promising new sorghum breed herbicide resistant

A NEW variety of imidazolinone-tolerant grain sorghum has been developed right here in Toowoomba.

Pacific Seeds Summer Grains and Forage Business Manager, Andrew Short said the presence of the "igrowth” trait in Sentinel IG allows the use of registered group B herbicides in grain sorghum crops, which has not previously been available.

"Our Toowoomba based sorghum breeding team has been instrumental to the development and testing of the world first igrowth herbicide tolerance, working closely with our research and development team in Argentina to ensure commercial reliability and efficacy for the Australian market," Mr Short said.

"The initial trait was found by Advanta in Argentina. And with that advancement our colleagues in Argentina were able to send the technology over to us, and then over the years we have been able to introduce that trait into Australian germplasm which has been the responsibility of the breeding team in Australia.”

This new technology will allow better control over hard-to-kill grass weeds within grain sorghum crops.

"This will help growers use a new mode of action in their grain sorghum crops which will help destroy weeds that have previously been difficult to control in grain sorghum.

"There is often competition from weeds within grain sorghum crops. The control of these weeds will help reduce the seed bank of the problem weeds and prevent them from re-germinating.”

Pacific Seeds have partnered up with BASF to develop a registered imidazolinone herbicide that is suitable for use with Sentinel IG.

"They sell herbicide, we sell seed. We've worked with them to enable a herbicide to use on this grain sorghum.”

According to BASF broadacre portfolio manager for Australia and New Zealand, Stuart McLaverty, Sentinel IG is the first summer crop on which BASF has conducted crop tolerance screening with Intervix.

"Following the crop tolerance screening, BASF has a high level of confidence in the technology and crop safety fit of the new variety," Mr McLaverty said.

"Sentinel IG provides another management option for growers to produce a high yield of sorghum and an additional weed management system against weeds such as awnless barnyard grass.”

Mr Short said there are currently demonstration sites throughout all sorghum growing regions.

"We're due to kick off our field days through February. We'll have a wide range of field days through February, particularly on the Darling Downs and northern NSW.”

Daniel Harris farms grain sorghum south of Pittsworth. He is participating in a trial of Sentinel IG.

"It looks really good so far.

"It's definitely going to be the way to control johnson grass in the sorghum.

"So far it looks like it will yield as well, if not better than any of the other varieties.

"I've got Buster, Bazley and Taurus in the same paddock. In a months' time when we harvest it we'll know exactly what the differences are, but going by the look of it now, it looks like it's the pick of them.”

Mr Harris said he will keep using the new variety of grain sorghum once the trial is over.

The seed of Sentinel IG will be available for purchase in Spring 2018.

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