NC Producer Sees Reduction in Soybean Cyst Nematode with Sorghum

Laurel “Stick” Cameron, of Laurel Cameron Farms in Harnett County harvested his second grain sorghum crop in August of this year. Cameron explains that he got started planting sorghum when Murphy-Brown was looking for farmers for their pilot program in 2011:

“Murphy-Brown had a pilot program last year and they were wanting some growers to see if they could use this because it was costing them so much to get corn out of the mid west. So we grew it for them last year under the pilot program.”

Cameron planted just over 80 acres of sorghum this year, and not all on marginal land. He outlines this year’s yields:

“I was pleased. We had some that was on some real good land, and it cut a little over 100 bushels to the acre. Overall we averaged 73.6 so we were pleased.”

Cameron explains why sorghum interested him:

“I wanted some rotation where we have been planting beans behind beans every year and then we could use a different chemical for the pig weed which was getting to be a problem.”

Cameron says that some of his fields are infested with soybean cyst nematode and that’s the rotation aspect of sorghum that interested him, and he says in just one year he could see a difference:

“I could tell this year because where we have had milo and in 2011 and then we went back with beans in 2012, you wouldn’t believe the difference in the beans from where we had beans behind beans and then we went to the milo and then went back to beans.”

As far as issues with his sorghum, Cameron says they were few:

“We had a little bit near harvest time that started falling down. Some of the seed people came and took samples and they could never really determine what it was. But it was just a small spot in two different fields. Otherwise we didn’t have any problems.”

And Cameron says he’s open to growing more sorghum in the future:

“I would love to be able to do it half and half every year. But it depends if they will want it and what the price of it will be.”

For more on Southern Farm Network’s series on the 2012 harvest, as well as yield contest rules and deadlines, click here

Stick Cameron, Harnett County North Carolina farmer on Inside Agriculture. 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.