North Qld millet crop purely for the birds

North Qld millet crop purely for the birds

Grains
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Panorama millet proves a winner at Horseshoe Lagoon near Giru.

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BIRD SEED: Retired Dalby farmer Russell Town keeping his hand in harvesting a Panorama millet crop at Horseshoe Lagoon, near Giru.

BIRD SEED: Retired Dalby farmer Russell Town keeping his hand in harvesting a Panorama millet crop at Horseshoe Lagoon, near Giru.

IT may have been 12 years since Dalby farmer Russell Town officially retired, but that hasn't dented his enthusiasm for harvesting a good grain crop.

Mr Town was hard at work harvesting Panorama millet on his son and daughter-in-law's farm on the Haughton River at Horseshoe Lagoon, near Giru.

The 35 hectare crop performed well, producing about 2.5 tonnes/ha despite a large number of finches and magpie geese that had fed on the crop.

The North Queensland crop was harvested using a 1968 John Deere header.

The North Queensland crop was harvested using a 1968 John Deere header.

"What can you do," Mr Town said. "They're here and there's not a lot you can do about them."

Mr Town makes the trip north from Dalby three or four times each year, helping out when and where required on the Burdekin River Irrigation Area farm.

He harvested the latest millet crop using a low tech, but extremely reliable, 1968 John Deere header with a 6m front. The millet seed is contracted for bird seed, while the straw will be baled for fodder.

The millet crop was planted into the heavy clay soils following soybeans.

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