Steven Albracht's Milestones

Follow Steven Albracht from planting to harvest.

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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Steven Albracht Update - Dough Stage
Despite the lack of rainfall early on, this season has been good to Steven. His Sorghum Shootout milo is looking strong, and the only pests he’s really had to deal with lately are some pesky blackbirds.
On August 4, Steven applied 3 oz of Headline® to help with disease control and improve overall plant health. And, again, on August 19, he made a pass across his fields with 1 qt NDemand® liquid fertilizer, 8 oz Stoller X-Cyte™ and 1 gallon of molasses for improved grain fill in these critical growth stages. Steven has been able to give his irrigation schedule a break thanks to the 2.25” of rain on August 8, 1.85” on August 31 and another 3.50” on September 6. The sorghum is in full dough stage, and we are waiting anxiously to see the results of this full-season management come harvest time.
Steven Albracht - Field Tour
Steven Albracht and his Stoller team, including sales representative Mike Lewallen, hosted the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) Sorghum Insider group on September 8 in Hart, Texas.
Sorghum Insider is NSP’s exclusive two-day program that takes industry partners, elevators and end users through the entire U.S. sorghum industry while covering important issues impacting production, policy, markets and more. The growers traveled to Albracht’s farm for a field tour and to learn more about his intensive management practices and participation in the 2016 Sorghum Shootout. Both Steven and Mike spoke about the Stoller technology driving Steven’s milo crop this season as well as the value of investing in a crop throughout the season for an even greater return in yield at the end of the year.

Steven Albracht Update – Heading Photos
Steven Albracht is well on his way to some record yields this season. He's hoping this is what 250+ bu/A sorghum looks like!
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"Typically this time of year, sorghum plants are losing their bottom leaves. But none of that is happening here - the plants are green and healthy, which is just the way I want it," explained Steve. Each leaf contributes to sunlight capture, which ultimately helps pack the weight into the grain.

Steven Albracht Update - Heading Stage
Two words to describe Steven’s sorghum growing season: hot and dry. His plants have not received rainfall since planting back in May. Thankfully, his ground is irrigated; and that, coupled with Stoller products to help manage crop stress, has been his saving grace. He has irrigated over 13 inches since July 11.
Despite the lack of rainfall, “The plants look phenomenal,” said Steve. “Today, we are in my field comparing seed treatments. The feeder root mass on the plant treated with Stoller Bio-Forge® and Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer has nearly three times as much root system as the non-treated plant. There are more bracing and feeder roots, and it is going to pick up 60-70 percent more water and nutrients than the untreated at this stage.”
The sorghum seed treated with Stoller Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer and Bio-Forge® ST have developed a root mass nearly three times the size of the untreated plants.

The sorghum seed treated with Stoller Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer and Bio-Forge® ST have developed a root mass nearly three times the size of the untreated plants.

Pictured: (Left) The root mass on a plant from untreated seed. (Right) Root mass of a plant treated with Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer and Bio-Forge® ST.

Pictured: (Left) The root mass on a plant from untreated seed. (Right) Root mass of a plant treated with Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer and Bio-Forge® ST.

In addition to seed treatments, Steve applied 4 oz Stoller X-Cyte™, 1 oz Stoller N-Large™ and 1 gal molasses on July 19. These products will help the plant increase seed germination, push for higher quality grain and increase overall yields. Steve also applied a quarter of NDemand® Entourage K 11-0-16 on July 18 to alleviate potassium deficiencies and maintain potassium levels in his plants.

“We are in mid-July and have had above normal temperatures. We’ve been in 105-108 degree temperatures the last 13 days, so I think that has sped up the milo’s development. As far as what it is going to do for the yield, only time will tell. Right now, I don’t think we’ve hurt ourselves any.” Steve intends to continue to irrigate his fields the next 10 days to help combat the heat and arid environment. Despite the heat stress, the crops continue to thrive and reached 50 percent flowering on August 1.
Steven Albracht Update - 5‑6 Leaf Stage
Steven’s plant growth is progressing nicely despite no rainfall since planting on May 31. He has been maintaining a regular irrigation schedule due to extremely hot and dry temperatures, at some points reaching and exceeding 107 degrees this summer.

Steve irrigated on June 25, 28, 29 and July 7. He applied Stoller Bio-Forge® and X-Tra Power on June 25 at the V5 plant stage to promote optimum hormone balance and combat the hot and stressful growing conditions. Steve went back and applied Stoller ReZist and Bio-Forge® mixed with one gallon of molasses on July 1 when the plants reached the V9/V10 growth stages.
Steven Albracht Update - Emergence
Steven’s sorghum crop emerged on June 6, 2016 with a stand count of 97,000. There has been no rainfall since planting on May 31, but the weather has been mild. Steven irrigated his plants on June 16 and 20 to compensate for the lack of rain.
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Steven Albracht Update - Planting
Due to excessive rains in the area, Steven ended up planting later in the season than he had originally planned. Prior to planting, manure was applied to the field in the fall to prepare for this year’s sorghum crop. He also ripped the ground twice and ran a finishing plow to prepare an ideal seedbed.


Steven is planting Pioneer® 84G62 and Pioneer® 84P72 sorghum seed. The seed was treated with Stoller Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer and Bio-Forge® ST to help the crop develop a solid root structure and encourage uniform emergence. Steven also applied a herbicide program consisting of Bicep Lite II Magnum® with Sharpen® Herbicide to keep the fields clean of weeds and drive burndown of broadleaf weeds.

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He planted into moist soil conditions on May 31, with a plant population of 105,000 seeds, 30-inch rows and a three-quarter inch to 1-inch seed depth. Being in the Texas Panhandle, things can get hot and remain dry, so Steven’s sorghum field is pivot irrigated to compensate for when Mother Nature is being stingy with the rainfall.