Dalby growers top RASQ Crop Competition

Emma Alsop April 1, 2022

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner, Toowoomba Show president Shane Charles and competition chair Andrew Speed. Photo: Bill Smith, Pacific Seeds

AN IRRIGATED wheat crop grown by Derryck Mickelborough at Dalby on the Darling Downs has claimed the champion crop award for the second time in a row in the 2022 Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland (RASQ) Crop Competition.

Representing Glenesk Farming, Mr Mickelborough, achieved a yield of 9.997 tonnes per hectare with the Borlaug 100 crop, which was up over 1.2t/ha on his previous entry.

The crop also took home first place in the combined wheat, barley, triticale, canary and chickpea class.

The Bligh Family Trust’s  finished second in that class with a yield of 7.837t/ha, also with Borlaug 100.

The reserve champion prize went to another Dalby grower, Kerrin Simmich, from Simmich Farming whose irrigated cotton crop produced 17.24 bales per hectare.

Mr Simmich’s entry also won the irrigated fibre crop competition, a class he also topped in last year’s competition.

Competition chair Andrew Speed said Mr Mickelborough’s entry had a strong increase in yield from the previous year.

He said this feat is even more impressive considering the Dalby grower’s 2021 entry set a record with 8.7t/ha.

“He grew the ceiling yield last year for irrigated wheat and smashed it again by 1.2t/ha,” Mr Speed said.

Pacific Seeds territory manager Bill Smith presents Kate Shooter, Allora, with first prize on behalf of Ted and Kerri Shooter in the Irrigated Crop Competition Category – Class 1: Sorghum. Photo: Bill Smith, Pacific Seeds

“It was three kilograms shy of 10t/ha which is pretty amazing.”

Mr Mickelborough said he couldn’t pinpoint the cause of yield differences between the two seasons.

“Not a lot was different, in terms of what we did during the seasons,” Mr Mickelborough said.

“I believe the difference must be somewhat seasonal because our approach was not all that dissimilar to the other year.

“We had good underlying nutrition; although we didn’t get to test the soil before we planted, we took a stab in the dark at what our nitrogen was, planted it, and gave it two waters.”

Overall he put the record results down to the variety.

“We used the same variety as the previous year, Borlaug 100, and I think that is the variety to get a really high yield with.”

Mr Mickleborough said, due to the qualities of Borlaug 100 and upcoming favourable weather conditions, he believes it is possible to further increase his yield for the 2023 competition.

“I think there is plenty of room to improve that yield, given the water accessibility, and to aim for 12t/ha.”

Judging for the the irrigated and dryland crop sections included giving points based on yield results, as they compared to the previous highest yield of the crop or ceiling yield.

Committee looks to boost entries

As with previous years, Mr Speed said the number of entries was down on last year.

He said COVID-19 pressures and weather conditions also contributed to a reduction in entries.

“It is getting harder and harder to get entries purely because of the weather.

“Farmers, to do an entry, have to pull up, and it takes an extra hour or two hours to measure out an area, harvest it and put it through a weigh bin to get an accurate yield result.

“With the threatening weather, it is harder for them to justify that time when they want to have the grain in a silo rather than going through a weigh bin.”

Mr Speed said the organising committee, together with sponsors and seed-company representatives, will be investigating ways to improve entry numbers.

“We are shortly going to have a follow-up meeting in…to discuss what options there are to work out what we can rejig and maybe modernise the competition a bit.

“Most people don’t want to see it falter or fail or close.”

SORGHUM Entrant Location Variety Yield kg/ha
1st Billmac Farming Felton Pioneer A75 9593
2nd Ashley & Helen Gillam Clifton Pacific Sentinel IG 8330
3rd Pallathorpe Pty Ltd Macalister Pacific Resolute 7440
1st Melrose Station Warwick Pioneer P1315IT 8694
2nd STP Farming Allora Pioneer P1756 7865
3rd Adelong Holdings Warwick Pioneer P1315IT 6730
SUNFLOWER kg oil/ha
1st Adelong Holdings Warwick Ausigold 62 1513
COTTON bales/ha
1st Bray Farms Pty Ltd Ellangowan 10.00
2nd LG & MJ Brimblecombe Forest Hill 5.25
3rd Graincott Dalby 5.00
SORGHUM        kg/ha
1st Ted & Kerri Shooter Allora Pacific Sentinel IG 10,811
2nd Charles Farming Co Cambooya Pacific MR Buster 10,120
3rd Charles Farming Co Cambooya Pacific MR Buster 9960
1st Tyunga Farms Brookstead Pioneer P1756 13,820
2nd Old Talgai Enterprise Warwick Pioneer P1315IT 12,125
3rd STP Farming Allora Pioneer P1756 12,110
FIBRE CROPS        bales/ha
1st Simmich Farming Dalby 17.24
2nd New Leaf Ag Condamine 16.95
3rd Graincott Dalby 16.80
1st/RASQ champion Glenesk Farming Dalby Borlaug 100 9997
2nd Bligh Family Trust Condamine Plains Borlaug 100 7837
3rd Bligh Family Trust Condamine Plains Reliant 6894
Placing Entrant Show society Variety Yield kg/ha
Champion Ulster Farming Dalby Borlaug 100 6670
Placing Entrant Show society Variety Yield kg/ha
Champion Dalgliesh Grain & Grazing Chinchilla Leabrook 4725

Table 1: RASQ Irrigated, Dryland and Field Wheat and Barley 2022 Crop Competition results.

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