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Big Sorghum Harvest for Pitt County, NC Producer

We’ve been talking to producers in North and South Carolina the past couple of weeks about how their various crops fared through the growing season. Today, Pitt County’s Chris Stancill talks about grain sorghum. While a fairly new crop to the Carolinas, Stancill says they’ve been growing it for several years:

“We have quite a bit of land that we farm that is not suitable for corn, it just has too much clay and is too stiff. We needed a rotation and the sorghum works good on that type of land.”

One of the selling points for grain sorghum, in addition to making marginal lands profitable, is its ability to be used as a clean-up crop for pigweed infested fields:

“The atrazine that you are able to use on the sorghum really helps clean up the Palmer amaranth.”

And Stancill says his yield this year was more than respectable:

“We planted the sorghum on our marginal land and we probably averaged 75 bushels.”

Stancill explains that some of his neighbors planted sorghum in better soils, and that paid off, too:

“I talked to some growers in our area that had their sorghum on better soils and their yields approached 100, but on marginal land ours was better than usual. Normally on the type of land I plant on, if I can get 60 bushels its pretty good. So to average 75 was a great yield.”

But, Stancill hasn’t planted sorghum behind wheat as a double crop like many, but he may try it:

“We might try a little next year just to see, but we planted the end of May before the wheat harvest.”

Speaking of wheat, with futures for hard red winter wheat so high, it’s really tempting to increase acreage, but Stancill says he’s dedicated to his rotation schedule:

“We like the rotation we have. We plant anywhere from 800 to1000 acres of wheat, and we do that every year, and we’ll stay the same. I’m big on rotation and I don’t like going too far one way. We may move the acres up from 800 to 1000 and go on the high side, but I wont go over 1000.”

Pitt County North Carolina’s Chris Stancill. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.