Sorghum Production Successfully Progressing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Aug. 12 crop production report expects the U.S. sorghum crop to reach 429.2 million bushels, 10 percent above last year’s production.

Forecasted sorghum yields have been boosted to 67.1 bushels per acre, up 12.6 percent from last year. The sorghum area harvested was projected at 6.3 million acres, down 2 percent from 2013.

“Sorghum production is quickly progressing throughout the Sorghum Belt,” said Stewart Weaver, chairman of the Sorghum Checkoff. “Overall, the sorghum crop looks really good this year, which will help meet the demand of growing sorghum markets.”

The NASS report indicated sorghum was 98 percent planted as of July 6, 2014. At the beginning of August, 55 percent of the U.S. sorghum crop was at or beyond the heading stage, while 35 percent was coloring. The crop was declared to be 59 percent in good to excellent condition as of Aug. 3.

As sorghum is beginning to head in many areas, harvest is in full-swing throughout Central Texas and the Coastal Bend. The NASS Aug. 5 report indicated Texas sorghum was 81 percent mature and 39 percent harvested.

James Kamas, a sorghum farmer from Little River, Texas, said as harvest in the area is nearing an end, high quality coupled with good yields are calling for a record sorghum crop

“I think farmers in our immediate area are looking at a phenomenal year in terms of yield,” Kamas said. “In our own personal case, I think we set records in wheat, and we are doing it on grain sorghum.”

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service reported above average sorghum yields for the Central Texas area, with farmers yielding 125 bushels per acre.

Moving further north into Kansas, sorghum was 43 percent headed, 4 percent was changing color and 56 percent was in good to excellent condition as of Aug. 10.

Yield was boosted in the report for both Kansas and Texas, the two largest sorghum producing states. Sorghum production in Kansas is projected at 187 million bushels, a 13 percent increase, while Texas is expected to reach 152.2 million bushels, up 18.7 percent.