RAIN forecast for Queensland’s Darling Downs on the weekend can’t come quickly enough for millet crops that have been struggling under hot, dry, windy conditions.
Deacon Seeds general manager, Mark Schmidt, said rain was desperately needed to resurrect October-sown millet and provide the opportunity for further plantings over summer.
“We had good rains in October and a fair percentage of the millet crop went in the ground. Unfortunately, it stopped raining after that, so most of the crops have gone through a lot of heat and dry wind and are suffering,” he said.
Mr Schmidt said millet stocks were in short supply and current prices were very attractive.
“The crop that is out there will still be worth a fair amount of money because millets are always a supply and demand scenario, and there is basically no millet left at the present time,” he said.
“Most of the millets are now sold and we are waiting for the crop to come off in January/February.
“If we get further rain we will see more crop planted in January, February and into early March.”
Mr Schmidt said millet seed supplies were very limited, particularly for Japanese and Shirohie millet and, to a lesser extent, Panorama millet and Red Panicum.
More than 80 per cent of the Queensland millet crop is grown on the Darling Downs where average yields across regions range from 0.7 to 1.7 t/ha, depending on variety and season.
It is an easy, quick-growing, 100-day crop that requires only low nutritional inputs. It can be grown for grain, ground cover, hay.
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