NC Sorghum Tour Shows Good & Bad of Crop
North Carolina’s Cooperative Extension Service along with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services hosted a twilight sorghum tour in Lee and Harnett Counties. David Dykus and Don Nicholson are both field agronomists for the NCDA:
“There seems to be a lot of satisfaction with the pigweed control. There was some dissatisfaction earlier because of some herbicide carry over issues from last year. But over all there have been few complaints about farmers’ experiences with grain sorghum so far.
One of the things discussed today was the very low input cost per acre.
We are looking at some low nitrogen acres though we are not recommending no nitrogen at this time. We are looking to see if we can grow with 60-70 pounds of nitrogen vs 120. That will be a tremendous savings.
Just about all of my growers are using chicken litter on the grain sorghum. Either 100% or 50% and using commercial fertilizers to get some extra nutrients.
We want farmers to utilize the services of the Department of Agriculture, on tissue samples, soil samples, and chicken litter samples. That is the only true way you know what is actually out there. And chicken litter samples are only $5 so it’s a low cost to know exactly what you are putting on the crop.”
Sim Ogburn along with his father farm in Southern Wake County. This is their third year to grow sorghum and he says its been a bit of a challenge:
“We are still learning about the crop. It’s a good rotation with the soybeans and the pigweed control is pretty good. We are currently rotating it with soybeans and wheat. Sorghum has to come along way to make it stay. We had to re-plant almost all of it again this year and it didn’t yield last year. So unless it really comes through this year it could be the last crop that we grow.”