Sorghum Folks From the Plains Visit North Carolina

Earlier this week a small group of people were set to meet with the state’s poultry industry to start a dialogue around using grains sorghum in poultry feed. Kent Messick, Chief of the NCDA Agronomic Division explains that while the meeting didn’t exactly come off as planned, it was still worthwhile:

“Although some of the airline problems and others prevented some of the industry from being here, there was a good representation from NCDA, NC State, Murphy-Brown and some of the grain sorghum industry. There was a lot of good discussion.”

The general consensus still is that there’ll be a significant increase in sorghum acres this year:

“I think we made headway. Those discussions will continue, but the general gist of the meeting is that there is still a continued and growing interest in sorghum in NC. NC State and NCDA are confident that we will have 100,000+ acres of sorghum in NC this year.”

When it came to the plant breeders and seed suppliers, largely based in the Midwest, it was something of a learning experience for them says Messick:

“It’s very different from what they were used to. They got a very good geography lesson learning about the different regions of NC. They were impressed by what has developed here in NC and across the southeast.”

And the folks from the Plains also learned that there’s some potential agronomic problems in the southeast that may have to be considered at some point:

“Microtoxins have been on the forefront when we talked about corn and have long been a concern in the Southeast. That is one of the reasons that sorghum in attractive, though we can’t say that it is free of microtoxins. I think most would agree that it’s an issue of less concern than corn.”

Kent Messick, chief of NCDA’s Agronomic Division. 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.