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One of the consequences of this year’s drought is the poor head exertion in those fields where the sorghum is producing a harvestable yield. I actually do not remember a time when I have seen such poor head exertion from practically every field I have seen. Read more

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High Plains Journal’s Sorghum U/Wheat U event—which was held Aug. 11 in Wichita, Kansas—kicked off with a farmer panel made up of four wheat and sorghum growers from across Kansas.

The panelists included Craig Meeker, a sixth-generation farmer from Wellington, Kansas, and vice chairman of the National Sorghum Growers Association; Derek Sawyer, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher from McPherson County, Kansas, who grows wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans; Kevin Kniebel, who co-owns Kniebel Farms and Cattle Co. in the Flint Hills of Kansas and currently serves as the chair of Grain Sorghum Commission; and Tim Turek, who resides in south central Kansas and operates a diversified crop and cow-calf enterprise. Brent Bean, director of agronomy for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, moderated the panel. Read more

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the following sorghum crop conditions for the week ending Sept. 21. Read more

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A Syngenta agronomist has watched the tale of two growing seasons for the western High Plains where timely moisture has been elusive for dryland producers in the three states in his territory.

TJ Binns, an agronomic service representative, works with corn and sorghum producers. He said the dryland corn really tells the picture because where it has been extremely dry the crop has been extremely short. His territory includes western Kansas, northeast Colorado, and southwest Nebraska. Read more

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When Josh Lofton was invited to speak for the Sorghum U/Wheat U event Aug. 11 in Wichita, Kansas, it was dry in parts of the High Plains. At the time he wasn’t concerned, but by August, his mind had been changed. Lofton is the cropping systems specialist at Oklahoma State University. Read more

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Chef Paul Burkholder took a keen look at sorghum when researching ancient grains for some new product offerings by Furmano’s a few years ago. Burkholder is the company's corporate research and new product development chef.

“I was looking at what we need to do to kind of expand a product line to fit into where we were as a company already,” he said. “So much of what we do is based off of the land and, really, products that are pretty good for the soil itself.”

Furmano’s is a 100-year-old company headquartered in the heart of Pennsylvania's farming country. Read more

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While there’s no reason for alarm, a pair of Kansas extension agents are urging the state’s sorghum producers to be on the lookout for a couple of pests that have recently shown up in this year’s crop. Read more

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The sugarcane aphid was first found in sorghum in the United States in 2013, in a few fields in South Texas and Louisiana, but did not become a serious problem until 2015 when it infested hundreds of thousands of acres across the southern sorghum belt, causing millions of dollars in yield loss. Read more

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On July 12, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced an expansion of the list of counties that are eligible for double crop coverage under crop insurance. Coverage will be expanded or streamlined in over 1,500 counties to double crop soybeans and sorghum behind wheat. Read more

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High Plains Journal’s Sorghum U Wheat U event is set for Aug. 11 at the Doubletree Hotel in Wichita, Kansas. This free, one-day education event will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with a farmer panel discussion made up of sorghum and wheat producers from across the High Plains highlighting management techniques, drought, fertility and other sorghum and wheat related topics. Read more

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The reaction was priceless. Faced with the prospect of tasting a dog biscuit during the Kansas FFA convention recently, one young lady wrinkled her nose, relaxed and gave it a try. Read more

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Texas sorghum producers, science and Mother Nature continue to keep damaging numbers of sugarcane aphids at bay, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. Grain sorghum in South Texas is at or nearing harvest and avoided yield damages by sugarcane aphids. Read more

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According to the week ending June 19, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the following sorghum crop conditions. Read more

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Contrary to what is often printed or in presentations at winter meetings, how much an inch of water contributes to the yield of any crop is not an easy answer. The environment the crop is grown in makes a huge difference. In most of the sorghum growing regions of the United States, environmental conditions can vary greatly from one growing season to the next and this has been especially true in recent years. Read more

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Field bindweed has long been one of the most persistent and troublesome weeds for growers throughout the U.S. but especially in the southern Plains region. Because of its drought tolerance, it seems to be especially prevalent in 2022.

The weed spreads by both seed and rhizomes and can infest new fields by seed contamination from combines and cattle manure. Once the seed germinates, the new plant can become a perennial in as little as six weeks. Read more

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Drought causes all kinds of problems on the farm and very few of them are good. One problem is weed control. Unfortunately, many of the most problematic weeds are very drought tolerant and will germinate, emerge and survive on very little water. To make matters worse, herbicides typically do not work as well under drought conditions. Read more

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For Hereford, Texas, farmer Jason Andrews, forage sorghum has become his go-to crop for silage.

Andrews has been growing forage sorghum varieties for nearly two decades and doesn’t see that changing any time soon. Especially since the lack of water in the Texas Panhandle is driving his planting choices. Many producers are moving away from crops that require more water.

“The handwriting's on the wall. Everybody sees it,” he said. “And I've always wanted to be proactive in the sense that I never wanted to wait.” Read more

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Throughout the High Plains and other dairy and feedyard regions of the United States, silage sorghum is gaining in popularity. This is largely due to silage sorghum’s low water requirement and the continued introduction of new and improved hybrids. Read more

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Kansas Sorghum has hired Madeline (Maddy) Meier as director of programs. Originally from Goessel, Kansas, Meier is a senior at Kansas State University studying agricultural communications and journalism with a secondary major in global food systems leadership. Read more

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Post emergence grass control has long been an issue in grain sorghum. In 2021, the industry brought three technologies—Inzen sorghum from Corteva, igrowth sorghum from Advanta Seeds and Double Team Sorghum from S&W Seed to the market. Of these, only igrowth sorghum was readily available in large quantities. Read more

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As a popular mid-American feed grain with global appeal, grain sorghum has bested some natural blows in the past decade and continued a viable climb.

A drought tolerant crop used in human and animal food, also made into environmentally friendly ethanol, sorghum’s versatility has garnered attention, said Jeff Zortman, a farmer near Fowler, in Meade County, Kansas.

“It’s not just a feed,” he said. “It can be used in other applications, and that has grown tremendously in the past five years.”

Kansas is historically tagged the Wheat State where 7.3 million acres were planted in 2021, but it’s also the largest producer of grain sorghum in the nation, with 3.6 million acres planted last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read more

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Scientists with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet have developed a sorghum variety they say will provide natural resistance to pathogens and pests that have crippled the crop in humid, lowland areas of western Ethiopia. Read more

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When sorghum agronomists get together, one topic that is always assured of generating conversation is sorghum tillering and whether it is a good or bad trait. Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, the fact is sorghum does tiller and must be accounted for in management decisions.

Tillering, wanted or not, is influenced by three main management decisions: hybrid selection, planting date and seeding rate.

Tillering is considered a complex trait, meaning its expression in the field is regulated by the genetic makeup of the variety (G), the growing environment (E), the management practices (M) and the interactions of all three (G x E x M). Read more

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The Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association recently named Parker Vulgamore as the organization’s Collegiate Fellow for 2022. In this role, Vulgamore will assist Kansas Grain Sorghum connect smart policy solutions with farm-oriented programming at the state-level as well as assist staff of National Sorghum Producers with similar programming at regional and national levels. Read more

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National Sorghum Producers announced the winners of the 2021 Sorghum Yield Contest, including Bin Buster winner Kasey Gamble from Kiowa County, Kansas, with the top yield in the contest at 244.03 bushels per acre—the highest dryland yield on record in contest history west of the Mississippi River. Read more

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Nebraska is a powerhouse in agriculture and a recent overseas marketing trip may help open another door.

Nebraska Sorghum was a participant in the Third European Sorghum Congress in France. Nate Blum, the executive director of the Lincoln-based Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, shared his state’s story and showcased opportunities. Blum was accompanied by Kira Everhart-Valentin, sustainability director, and Florentino Lopez, international marketing consultant, with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

Blum has been director of the Nebraska Sorghum for three years. He believes that the European Sorghum Congress, sponsored by Sorghum-ID, offered a glimpse into the world marketplace. Read more

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