Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sorghum harvest down on the farm

This past week has found us busy harvesting Grain Sorghum, milo. The yield has been tremendous so far and the plants are standing nice and straight. Some years with a late harvest the plant will weaken and fall over.

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A picture of my dad harvesting across the field from my combine.

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Looking down on dad as he harvests a terrace. A terrace is a ridge of dirt built on sloped land that slows and redirects water to help prevent the soil from washing away.

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Both of us dumping on the grain cart. A grain cart is a trailer that is pulled with a tractor and is used to shuttle grain from the field to a waiting truck.

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Waiting on the truck. We were waiting on the truck to get back so the grain cart could unload.

Some interesting facts about grain sorghum. Grain Sorghum originated in Africa and is drought tolerant and loves hot summers. The major growing states are Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Louisiana. It will grow as far north as South Dakota, but a cool summer or early frost can reduce the yield. Animal feed is the largest user of grain sorghum and it can be found in most bird seed blends. One bushel of sorghum will produce as much ethanol fuel as a bushel of corn. Sorghum can be ground into flour to replace wheat flour in a gluten free diet.

Milo is production is slowly being reduced in Kansas as corn is becoming more drought tolerant and having a better price. I feel milo will still have a place in our crop rotation on less productive fields.

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