Earl Wetta's Milestones

Follow Earl Wetta from planting to harvest.

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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Earl Wetta Update - Dough Stage
Earl is happy to report his milo is looking good. The heads have reached soft dough stage and are showing color.
He’s struggled with sugarcane aphids and sprayed for them at the end of August. There has been a moderate amount of rainfall, so the field conditions were wet when he made his pass for aphids, but they were able to get in OK. As of September 27, the plan is to harvest the sorghum in approximately three weeks. Stay tuned for a harvest update in late October.
Earl Wetta Update - Heading Stage
Even with a late start this season, Earl’s sorghum has caught up and reached 50 percent flowering on August 19, 2016.
It hasn’t required too much management thus far. The leaf tissue sampling he conducted earlier in the season showed adequate fertilizer levels in the plant, so he decided there was no need for additional applications. He has noticed head worms in the crop and has applied a generic pyrethrin (3.84 oz/A) to manage these pests. Earl’s milo received 1.6 inches of rain on August 7 and another 0.3 inches of rain on August 12. There have been moderate temperatures all season long, which has resulted in strong growth. We are looking forward to seeing Earl’s yield results at harvest. Earl Wetta_Heading
Earl Wetta Update - 5‑6 Leaf Stage
Kansas’ weather conditions have taken a turn from excessive rainfall in the early spring to ideal growing conditions for a yield-busting milo crop. Earl’s sorghum has seen over 1.5 inches of rainfall into mid-July.
With 1.4 more inches of rain coming on July 18 followed by five days of 100+ degrees, these crops are practically exploding. Weed control still looks great without the need for any pesticide applications.
“However, the counties surrounding our fields have been reporting sightings of the sugarcane aphid, so I’m keeping a close watch and scouting my fields daily,” said Wetta.
Earl made a foliar application of Bio-Forge® on July 26 to help his plants maintain a healthy level of plant hormones and maximize their nutrient uptake. The plants are currently in the pre-boot stage and expect to begin heading in about two weeks. Earl was also concerned about the amount of nitrogen still left in his fields. He decided to do a leaf tissue sampling for the first time and sent it off to be analyzed at the local lab. He’s eager to see the results of that test.
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Earl Wetta Update - Emergence
Earl noticed emergence in his Shootout sorghum on June 23 after three-quarters of an inch of rain the evening before. He recorded a stand count of 34,000 plants per acre. The plants are looking good and seem to be on track despite the later-than-planned planting date.
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Earl Wetta Update - Planting
Kansas has been experiencing excessive rains this spring, which has, unfortunately, pushed Earl Wetta’s planting date back later than he had planned. But after a couple dry weeks in early June and some light disking, he was able to plant into ideal moist soil conditions on June 17, 2016. Earl chose a Phillips 672 seed variety for his Shootout milo; planting in 30-inch rows with a seed depth of 1 inch and a seed rate of 37,000. His herbicide program consists of 1.5 quarts of Lexar® EZ Herbicide applied preplant and another 1.5 quart of Lexar EZ applied pre-emergence.
Earl’s land is not irrigated, but thanks to increased rainfall, his crop should have what it needs during the crucial early growth stages. To help the crop along, he applied Stoller Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer (8 oz/A) tank mixed with 5 gallons of 10-34-0 starter fertilizer in-furrow. He had also applied 140 units of anhydrous (N) back in early March with the intent to plant his sorghum in May, but Mother Nature had other plans, as she often does. We are excited to see how his sorghum performs this season in spite of the later planting date. With good weather conditions, a little nurturing and the help of some yield enhancing products from Stoller, Earl feels good about his chances to have a very high yield.