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Sorghum Field Day Scheduled for Sandhills Region

Lots of questions still out there regarding grain sorghum production these days, so NCDA’s agronomic division along with NRCS will host a two-stop field tour on August 7th. David Dycus, NCDA Regional Agronomist for the Sandhills Region:

“It is right on the Lee-Harnett County line at two farms starting at six pm. We will cover a lot of aspects of grain sorghum production, nutrient management, insect and disease control and harvest.”

Dycus says one stop is a full season field, and the other a double-crop field:

“The first stop is a full season crop, its already headed and matured and should be harvested in August. The second stop is some double crop, where we can discuss the differences between that and the season crop.”

The plan is to have growers that participated in a pilot program in the 2011 growing season be at the field day to recount their hands on experience after two years of growing sorghum:

“We had a few growers in the region last year participate in the pilot program with Murphy Brown giving them experience growing the crop last year. All of those growers planted this year. WE have a lot more people planting this year. We are asking them to share their experiences with us.”

The sorghum in the sandhills area, according to Dycus breezed right through the extreme heat and spotty rain:

“It looks really good. We were extremely hot and dry like others, but the sorghum took the heat better than most other crops. We did see some damage to some of the early planted fields, but even there we expect less than 10% loss. If those fields had been corn we would likely see 100% loss.”

Dycus says that as far as sorghum being oversold to producers with problem land, it just isn’t so:

“We are excited about it because it’s taking the heat better, it’s helping us fight resistant weeds, it’s given us a good rotation with nematode’s and other crops. There are just a lot of positives with the crop.”

Extreme heat set in just about the time some mid-season planted corn was polenating, as well as sorghum, but Dycus says there’s very little reduction due to pollinating in high heat:

“We saw just one or two fields were just starting to head in the middle of that extreme heat, that’s where the mild damage was. Those heads that were damaged, that plant is going to tiller and make some secondary heads. Very few complete heads were damaged.”

For more information on the sorghum field day, visit our calendar.

Regional Agronomist for North Carolina Department of Agriculture David Dycus on Today’s Topic 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.