Breeding grain sorghums for Queensland

Miles, L.G.

Queensland Agriculture Journal 57(5): 261-265


Sorghums were introduced before 1916. They are valued because they make crops with low summer rainfall and are adaptable to machine harvesting. The main trouble is from insects: the sorghum midge [Contarinia sorghicola], corn ear worm [Heliothis armigera] and peach moth. Four commonly grown vars. are described. Kalo is prolific and generally excellent but is inclined to lodge on the more open soft-wood scrub soils; Wheatland has a strong short stalk but is lighter in yield; Day Milo, a true dwarf (21/2 ft.), is very early but low yielding; Hegari makes good sheep grazing, matures uniformly, and is capable of high yield. Three objects in the breeding program are: maintenance of purity and possible improvement in vars. now grown, accomplished by pedigree selection; provision of a Kalo type with a sturdier stalk; development of vars. with open heads less damaged by insects, for use in humid districts. Selection from Kalo has given 3 dwarf strains of value. The research program also includes further introduction of new material and hybridization.