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Crossroads sorghum harvesting off to good start; yields are high with no damage

By Jessica Rodrigo
July 22, 2014 at 2:22 a.m.


Fun Facts about sorghum

•  Broomcorn is a variety of sorghum introduced to the U.S. by Ben Franklin for - you guessed it - making brooms.

•  Some starches used for adhesives and paper-making are derived from sorghum.

• In Africa, leather is sometimes dyed red with the help of red varieties of sorghum.

•  One-third of U.S. sorghum production is used for ethanol. Because sorghum can usually be grown with much less fertilizer and irrigation than corn, the net fuel produced is far greater than corn ethanol.

•  You can pop sorghum. It's just like popcorn, only slightly smaller.

Source: wholegrainscouncil.org

In few weeks, those rust-colored fields of sorghum will be no more.

Sorghum harvesting is in full swing in the Crossroads. As long as the weather forecasts continue to include bright, sunny days and clear, blue skies, area producers will have no problem collecting high yields and avoiding damage to their crops.

The summer's occasional rains haven't posed too much of a threat to the area's sorghum producers, which is a good sign when it comes to harvesting, said Peter McGuill, Victoria County extension agent.

"They've been a little spotty," he said about the showers. "Producers have been able to get in there with a combine or a harvester without a problem."

In years where the Crossroads has experienced heavy, continuous rain during summer months, producers have run into situations that affect their bottom line.

Too much moisture can cause grain sprouts that will lower the yield collected during harvesting, McGuill said. He said he's seen producers lose up to half their yield in one season.

So far, he said there's been no reports of grain damage.

"Things have been good, and they can get in and roll through it pretty quickly," McGuill said.

Vic-Cal Grain has two locations in the Crossroads to accommodate the incoming sorghum harvests. Brett Mock, who owns the facility, said he expects to stay busy through the middle of August.

Depending on when the producers planted their fields, he said he's started seeing sorghum come in following the Fourth of July weekend.

"There are different farmers who spread out their planting, so we'll see them come in throughout the next few weeks," Mock said.

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