Milestones

The path to record breaking yields is marked with milestones. Follow along from planting to harvest as Steven Albracht, Tim Fisher and Earl Wetta document every stage of development. Every day is sure to bring new challenges and big achievements.

Steven Albracht Update – Harvest Stage
Steven harvested his Sorghum Shootout milo on October 8. The field was still standing perfectly, showcasing the impeccable plant health he achieved this year, and conditions were ideal for cutting.
His Shootout field average yield was 205 bu/A, test weight was 60-61 lb/bu with 13.3-13.7 percent moisture. “I was happy with the way the season went, and we were able to increase test weight and boost plant health like we wanted to. But I had higher hopes for the final yield numbers.” It was estimated that 30 percent of Steven’s sorghum was eaten by birds before harvest. “There looked to be 250 bu/A of sorghum standing in the field, easily. But those birds came in and took a good chunk of it before we could get it out of the field.” Steven felt there was value both in the new products and the more intensive management he tried on his milo this year; he plans to shoot for 250 bu/A again next year.
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Earl Wetta Update - Harvest Stage
Kansas experienced a great deal of rainfall, which ultimately pushed Earl’s harvest date all the way back to November 1. His fields incurred over 49 inches of rain throughout the season, in a region that typically receives only 29-30 inches of rain all season long.
Earl’s Sorghum Shootout field was very flat, resulting in standing water and some places in the soil staying wetter than others. The flat field is typically a good thing, except for this year with the high influx in rainfall. Earl estimates he also may have lost up to 5 bu/A due to a hailstorm that hit a couple of weeks before harvest. He harvested a crop averaging 74 bu/A. He candidly reported his disappointment with the less than 100 bu/A harvest, but maintains his determination to raise the bar on sorghum next season.
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Tim Fisher Update - Harvest Stage

On August 12, Tim’s sorghum was growing over his head, and he was set to harvest his Sorghum Shootout field two weeks later. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. During the first couple weeks of August, Tim’s fields were hit with extended periods of heavy rains and warm temperatures that caused his milo to sprout while still growing in the field. As a result, he was unable to submit a yield for the grain sorghum contest.

The hard truth is that growers never really know how the chips may fall and what weather they’ll be handed each season. They can only roll with the punches and get back up, hit after hit. Tim plans to set out again next season in the hopes that Mother Nature will be on his side this time. He will once again arm his plants with the best protection at his disposal and manage the crop all season long, still determined to hit a new sorghum yield record.