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.

Tim Fisher Update - Planting
Tim planted his Pioneer® 84P80 sorghum seed on April 17. With a plant population of 120,000 plants per acre, his sorghum was planted in 30-inch rows, 1 inch deep into dry soil conditions. Tim is utilizing conventional till management practices, and his fields are row-water irrigated. Prior to planting, he applied 100 lbs. of sulfate, 150 lbs. of potash and 25 units of nitrogen.

By treating his seed with Bio-Forge® and Stimulate™ Yield Enhancer, his plants are off to a good start, mitigating the stress from early spring rain and cool temperatures. Following planting, Tim applied a side-dress application of total phosphate. Below are some photos of Tim planting his sorghum fields on April 17.

Fisher planting 1 Fisher planting 2
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.

Albracht-planting-1

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.

Albracht-planting-3 Albracht-planting-2
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.
Sorghum Shootout Kickoff
Sorghum—a grain, forage or sugar crop—is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water.

Why Sorghum?

Sorghum—a grain, forage or sugar crop—is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. It is known as a high-energy, drought-tolerant crop, but is rarely referred to as a “yield-busting” crop. That’s all about to change. In 2015, there were 21 sorghum-producing states that planted approximately 8.5 million acres across the United States. This year, these three growers are accepting the challenge of pushing yields and raising the bar on their sorghum fields. “We know the high yield potential is there, it’s just going to take some intensive management to really draw it out of that plant,” said Tim Fisher of Wynne, Arkansas.

Sorghum 101

In the U.S., grain sorghum has traditionally been used for livestock feed and ethanol production. Sorghum produces the same amount of ethanol per bushel as comparable feedstocks and uses one-third less water. In the livestock market, sorghum is used in the poultry, beef and pork industries. Stems and foliage are used for green chop, hay, silage and pasture. A significant amount of U.S. sorghum is also exported to international markets where it is used for animal feed and ethanol, among other things. Sorghum is gaining popularity in food products in the U.S. because of its gluten-free and non-GMO properties. Sorghum is an excellent substitute for wheat, rye and barley for those who cannot tolerate gluten in their diets.