On Tuesday, NC State Extension along with North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service hosted a sorghum field day in Lee & Harnett County. For many, this is their first year to grow sorghum, some of the 65 producers in attendance were interested for future years. NCDA Agronomist David Dykus and Don Nicholson spoke about some of the issues with sorghum, and many involved fertilization:
“In many areas of the state the talk is about sulfur. It used to be that sulfur was applied with acid rain, but now sulfur is not naturally coming with the rain. But the crops are really responding to sulfur. We are putting sulfur out on every crop we grow in the Sand Hills region of North Carolina.
We are doing a lot of research to figure out what the best nitrogen rate is. If we can do it for less that’s more money for the farmer and better for the environment.
We have had a good crop this year but it still needs to be harvested and sold. So I feel if we can get that done well, we probably will see an increase in grain sorghum next year.
If anyone wants more information they can request a copy of our powerpoint presentation.”
For Sim Ogburn of Tandy Ogburn Farms in Wake County, this is his third year to grow sorghum, and it’s been a challenge. This year he had to plant twice, the first seeding didn’t emerge, and last year’s crop didn’t make at all. One good thing thus far Ogburn says, with a farm is surrounded by housing developments, the deer pressure is tremendous, and for now, sorghum seems to be helping:
“We have some very bad deer problems. Right now they are only eating soybeans but its only a matter of time before they have a taste for sorghum.”