We're pleased to partner with the Grain Sorghum Checkoff Program to provide you with the latest updated harvest information regarding 2010 sorghum crops as well as new details of our upcoming 2011 harvest survey.
Meet our 2011 Featured Grain Sorghum Producers
Jeff Casten, Osage City, Kansas
Growing up as the son of a Kansas wheat farmer who began farming in the early 30s, Jeff Casten has seen many changes in the farming industry. Although Casten, a producer from eastern Kansas, grew up amidst wheat fields, these days he produces grain sorghum, corn and soybeans. The moist, wet conditions of the area made it difficult to continue wheat production due to weather related diseases and quality issues.
It has been a decision made easier due to the growing market for grain sorghum, especially in the ethanol industry. This year, he will begin planting grain sorghum once the soil reaches 65 degrees, typically around the third week of May.
“Sorghum’s primarily thought of as a feed for animals, but we’re finding out through more research, that there are more uses for sorghum,” Casten says. “Today we’re seeing good demand in areas where ethanol plants are and they are using it. It’s making the market change.”
In addition, Casten points to other positive attributes the food industry is becoming aware of as well, including low-glycemic properties, gluten-free and a non-GMO grain. He expresses hope that in adjusting the perception of sorghum from an animal feed will build upon it and create more demand for the crop.
Bill Greving, Phillipsburg, Kansas: Great expectations for grain sorghum
As a Kansas grain sorghum producer from Phillips county, Bill Greving began farming in 1971. Today he combines this 1700-acre production with wheat and summer fallow in a three-way rotation, all of which is no-till. In addition, he manages 1000 head of cattle, 500 of which is his own.
In the dry, north central region of Kansas, moisture is a limiting factor. Grain sorghum is able to withstand the dry temperatures, a strong incentive for Greving who also considers it to be a lower-risk, lower input crop.
Long recognized as a livestock feed and bird seed, Greving believes as more money is invested into grain sorghum research, consumers will see new uses for its products such as ethanol and gluten-free flour and will appreciate its versatility and cost effectiveness. Looking to the future, Greving states, “I see great potential in that market.”
2010 Grain Sorghum Quality Maps
We're pleased to present updates regarding the 2010 Grain Sorghum harvest. These updates are ongoing and reflect the a brief glimpse of the quality of some sectors of the mid-west grain sorghum growing region.
To see the quality maps, please click on the following link: http://grsc.gis.ksu.edu/GS2010/
In addition, the quality maps are available in .PDF files for protein, starch, moisture and test weight.
Moisture: 2010 Maps>sorghum moisture
Protein: 2010 Maps>sorghum protein
Test Weight: 2010 Maps>Sorghum
Starch: 2010 Maps>sorghum starch
October 24, 2011--Grain sorghum harvest has resumed here. After a few mechanical problems with the combine, all is working well now. The first load harvested tested very very dry at 11.8% moisture with a very very high test weight of 64# per bushel. I have never before had test weight this high or the moisture so low. The grain is very clean due to the dry conditions.
We will be at the current location today and tomorrow, then we will move about 7 miles to another farm for the last grain sorghum field on a different landowner. The only thing that can slow down the progress is a breakdown (machinery) or rain. Three days from now there is a 30% chance of rain, otherwise great harvest weather.
June 15, 2011--Here it is mid-June. The second planting of sorghum is in the ground, as of a few days ago. Seed bed (planting conditions) was near perfect, so with warm soil I expect emergence in less than a week. Herbicide was applied 2 days after planting (pre-emergent application). This farm was located a number of miles away, so I always am always apprehensive about having the exact amount of herbicide mixture. A trip back home to get a few gallons more spray mixture takes a lot of time. I am getting used to a new auto guidance,auto steering system recently purchased. Yes, satellites are guiding me across the fields! I am impressed, I had the exact amount needed and covered all the acres or maybe I'm just lucky.
The first planting of sorghum about 1 month ago, mid-May, is up and looking good except for a few drowned out spots, due to some heavy rains, that followed. Now, what kind of weather will we have the rest of the summer? That is the challenge of farming, nothing is "given". If we have timely rains prior to "pre-flowering" we should have good yield If not, we will harvest what there is.
May 2, 2011--"Here we are the 1st week of May. Fields that are destined to grow grain sorghum, have now been tilled once to remove any growing vegetation. We are in the process of spreading a fertilizer mix on those fields, based on each fields needs. Dry weather has permitted these processes in a timely fashion. Soil temperature is a little cool to plant yet, 57 degrees a few days ago. Looking ahead to the longer term, next week we should have several days of 88-90 degree temperatures. This will bring up the soil temperature rather quickly. Grain sorghum needs 65 degrees to germinate and begin to grow quickly. It needs warmer weather than the other crops grown in Kansas. I anticipate sorghum planting will proceed, next week."