More Full-Season Sorghum Acres in 2013

Thanks to Murphy-Brown, grain sorghum became a really big deal last year as a rotation crop, as well as a double crop option. The problems that plagued corn and soybean plantings also affected sorghum says Aaron Alexander, Area Agronomist for DuPont Pioneer for North Carolina and Virginia:

“We had a few guys try to move to sorghum early in the season due to issues with the corn and soybeans. But with the wet weather we had the same problems with sorghum. With the maturity being a little different than corn, the way everything went in this year, some of the sorghum isn’t looking as good as it should.”

Alexander explains that acreage reporting on sorghum is still in progress:

“With all of our deadlines in retailer reporting, its been tough this year with being behind, we don’t have all of our reports in so we don’t know acreage. I think its probably an increase over 2012.”

Unlike last year, Alexander says there’s quite a few Pioneer acres that are full-season sorghum varieties:

“I would say most of it is full season variety. We are currently evaluating some early season ones that we will bring out in the west and see if they will fit here. Some we may be able to use in double season sorghum planting.”

As far as full-season goes, Alexander says harvest is getting close:

“Many people in the past have looked to really dry down their sorghum crop in the field instead of a dryer to get to the 13% level. But for efficiency, you want to be at 18% moisture, once you get down to that 13% you lose a lot of it in the field as you are running the combine.”

And while the moisture has been great in certain areas of the state, the lack of sun and heat that came with it has hindered the crop says Alexander:
 

“We have had some drowned out acres. The more concerning part of the crop is the excessive tillering and taking some energy away from the main head and could lead to some yield reductions. With juke and July being really cool, we didn’t get the GDUs so plant development was set back, there wasn’t enough developing heat.”


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