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The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking nominees for positions on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board to fill four vacancies, including two producer positions for Kansas, one producer position for Oklahoma, and one producer position for Texas. The Secretary of Agriculture se…

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Kansas is the nation’s top sorghum producing state. And for sorghum farmers not only in Kansas, but across the sorghum belt, they’re starting to get a leg up.

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The Canadian County OSU Cooperative Extension Service will be hosting the annual spring crops conference, Feb. 26.  Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will be held at the Canadian County Fair Grounds Education Building, 220 N. Country Club Rd, El Reno, Oklahoma.

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Agricultural producers have until Feb. 14 to sign up for USDA’s Market Facilitation Program, launched last year to help producers suffering from damages due to unjustified trade retaliation. Producers can apply without proof of yield but must certify 2018 production by May 1. Since its launc…

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The vast majority of United States grain sorghum is either exported for international use as animal feed or used domestically for ethanol production. However, a growing use for sorghum in the U.S. lies within the consumer food industry.

Over the last five years, the amount of sorghum used for human consumption has increased by more than 250 percent. Sorghum demand is growing by consumer choice because the grain is non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms), gluten-free and high in antioxidants. Sorghum is also an excellent source of fiber, a good source of protein and has favorable sustainability factors for an eco-friendly environment.

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The Nebraska Sorghum Producers Association together with the Grain Sorghum Board and Nebraska Extension will host the 2019 Sorghum Symposium January 24 in Grand Island. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at College Park, 3180 West US Hwy 34.

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An Oklahoma Sorghum Growers meeting will be held Jan. 11 in Enid at the Chisolm Trail Expo Center, Hoover Building. The meeting will cover a wide variety of topics, including the sorghum production in Oklahoma, the new farm bill and updates from new Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne A…

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The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Randall County will conduct the annual Pre-Plant Producer Update Meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 at the Kuhlman Extension Center, 200 N. Brown Road, Canyon.

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The Nebraska Sorghum Producers Association together with the Grain Sorghum Board and Nebraska Extension announce the 2019 Sorghum Symposium to be held Jan. 24, 2019 at College Park, 3180 West US Hwy 34, Grand Island, Nebraska. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

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National Sorghum Producers is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 NSP Yield Contest. Farmers from 24 states entered to win this year’s contest. Producer yields are highlighted in five different categories. This year’s top yield and Bin Buster winner is Michael Ball of Idaho, with 219.1…

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According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending Nov. 25, sorghum conditions were as follows in the High Plains Journal coverage area:Kansas: Sorghum harvested was 83 percent, behind 93 last year and 95 average.Missouri: Sorghum harvested progressed to 93 per…

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Delegates from the U.S. agriculture industry were in Cuba recently for the Cuba-U.S. Agriculture Business Conference. The conference brought about much interest from the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cuban media.

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The growing popularity of pet ownership is a gravy train for the companion animal food industry. The Kansas Department of Agriculture aims to increase demand for the state’s pet food products domestically and around the world. KDA cooperates with Kansas sorghum groups and Kansas State University on pet food research, too.

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The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board will hold its next meeting Nov. 28 and 29 at the Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln. The board will meet jointly with the Nebraska Sorghum Producers Association on Nov. 28 for strategic and succession planning. If needed, the b…

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National Sorghum Producers board of directors Chairman Dan Atkinson has appointed four new members to the NSP Legislative Committee and a new committee chairman. The new chairman of the NSP Legislative Committee is board Vice Chairman Kody Carson of Olton, Texas. In addition to Carson, new m…

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According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending Oct. 21 sorghum conditions were as follows in the Midwest Ag/High Plains Journal coverage area:

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With summer crops harvested and wheat planted, growers’ thoughts turn to the selection of different crops they should plant for the 2019 growing season. Growers should consider adding grain sorghum to the mix—and for good reason.

Grain sorghum is a drought-tolerant crop that is inexpensive to grow compared to other crops. Based on 2018 Crop Enterprise Budgets from the University of Arkansas, the net operating expenses for dryland sorghum are $64 less than soybeans, $184 less than corn or peanuts and $240 less than cotton.

Unfortunately, increased management costs for sugarcane aphid control have played a role in the decrease in grain sorghum acreage grown since 2015, particularly in the mid-South, Delta and mid-Atlantic regions. However, the industry has come a long way in identifying hybrids with aphid tolerance and developing management strategies for control, making sugarcane aphids much less of a problem in the last two years than in 2015 and 2016. Nature also has its way of dealing with new pests over time as beneficial insects adjust to a new food source.

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Gov. Pete Ricketts recently announced reappointment of Michael Baker, from Trenton, to serve another three-year term on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board. Baker was initially appointed to the Board in 2012 and represents District 4, which includes counties in the western portion of the state.

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If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will. And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages.

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According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending Sept. 23 sorghum conditions were as follows in the Midwest Ag/High Plains Journal coverage area:

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The Sorghum Checkoff is hosting a sorghum photo contest, known as the #FromTheField contest. You can enter sorghum photos in three categories by emailing info@sorghumcheckoff.com. Prizes are awarded for first through third place overall. The contest closes Nov. 10. More information can be fo…

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Late-planted grain sorghum can suffer from injury and reduced yields when an early fall freeze occurs. Typically, a temperature of 26 degrees or lower is required to kill a sorghum plant, but damage to the grain can occur at higher temperatures. The grain is susceptible to injury until it ha…

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Lance Feikert had a mess on his hands. 

The Bucklin, Kansas, farmer and president of the board of directors of No Till on the Plains, was trying to remediate one of his irrigated circles.

“Basically it’s been abused the last 20 years,” he said. “It’s a weedy mess. It was either disked or worked all the time.”

The particular circle Feikert discussed was part of the Soil Health Field Day, July 31, near Bucklin. Currently the irrigated circle has soybeans planted into cover crops on it, while the corners around the field feature sorghum with companion crops. He’s trying to take advantage of the particularly wet year he’s been given and make the most of the water he’s got available. 

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According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending Aug. 26 sorghum conditions were as follows in the Midwest Ag/High Plains Journal coverage area:

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It’s no secret that the outlook for both old- and new-crop commodity prices has changed dramatically in recent months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected lower new-crop prices for corn, soybeans, sorghum, oats, rice and wheat.

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There has been a recent uptick in the amount of calls and reports we have been getting on the increasing presence of sugarcane aphids in the western grain sorghum production regions of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. This is particularly in the Panhandle region where sorghum is just now reaching…

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On an early August morning, Justin Knopf points out a patch of pigweed growing above his canopy of grain sorghum.

It’s the scourge of any crop field—growing in resistance to even some of the most aggressive chemical treatments. Yet, on this outing, the Gypsum, Kansas, farmer looks at the invasive weed with a glass-half-full mentality.

“Honestly, the field is better than I thought it would be with no herbicide,” he said.

Knopf wasn’t sure of the outcome when No-till on the Plains Director Steve Swaffer asked him to participate in an intercropping study this summer with three other farmers from across Kansas. The concept went against his normal routine of combatting pigweed, known as palmer amaranth. Knopf was told once he planted the acreage, he couldn’t apply herbicides or pesticides, instead relying on Mother Nature’s biological warfare.

The weapons? Buckwheat, guar, flax, mung bean and clover, to name a few of the greens growing in between Knopf’s sorghum rows.

The goal is to see how well cover crops choke out unwanted weeds and attract beneficial insects like lacewings and lady beetles, which feed on pests like sugarcane aphids, Swaffer said. The hope is farmers can save dollars per acre by not having to spray while building their soil health.

A Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped fund the study, he said. The grant paid for some of the sorghum seed, intercropping seed and custom farming rates.

“You might not have to spray for aphids two or three times, or maybe not even once,” Swaffer said, adding the study allowed farmers to explore something they might not normally have tried otherwise.

“The thing about these four guys, they wanted to try to learn from it,” he said. “The SARE grant gave them the opportunity to do so without risk.”

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Since the first of August, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas have had new instances of sugarcane aphids in sorghum fields. Although the reported sightings have been in single fields across some of the counties, it’s still important to scout fields and make a game plan to control them if…

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