The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 3, 2013

Sorghum demonstration tours scheduled

By Roger Don Gribble, Extended Forecast
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Northwest Oklahoma grain sorghum producers have the chance to look at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service demonstration sites for hybrid evaluation, grain sorghum weed control efforts and listen to a discussion of stalk utilization.

Three sites will be reviewed across the area Thursday and Friday.

Grain sorghum seed companies have entered several of their hybrids for evaluation and discussion of their merits for this area. Producers can hear the agronomic benefits and where their particular hybrid fits in the production systems demonstrated at the sites.

Also providing comments on the hybrids will be OCES agronomist Rick Kochenower. Kochenower has been evaluating hybrids across Oklahoma and has some additional thoughts on where each of the hybrids should be placed for best performance. Along with the hybrid discussion, Kochenower will review the growing season and his expectations, given the year that has been presented to growers.

Recent rainfall has been beneficial, and producers are facing some decisions on fertility and weed control that they may not have anticipated. Insect management also may be important to producers as they finish out the production year.

In the demonstration plots, we are able to look at some herbicide work utilizing some of the tank mix options for grain sorghum producers. We will be evaluating the use of atrazine by itself, the use of metalochlor by itself, the combination of atrazine plus metalochlor, and the use of atrazine, metalochlor and mesotrione. All these products are labeled for use in grain sorghum but have separate modes of action to help control weeds. Additional comments will be made to help double crop options for weed control if needed to bring those crops to market. This discussion will be lead by Roger Don Gribble, OCES northwest area agronomist.

Our final discussion at the demonstration sites will address the utilization of the grain sorghum stalks after harvest. Steve Smith, interim area animal scientist, will review nutritional values for the stalks and utilization of the stalks as a standing crop or as baled forage. He also will review some of the dangers in utilizing stalks as forage.

The first tour stop will be in Alfalfa County beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. Our location will be from Cherokee, two miles west on Fish Street to County Road 590. At that intersection, turn south, and the plots will be on the west side of the road just past the bridge.

The second tour stop will be in Kay County, northeast of Blackwell. These plots are located between R and S roads on Earth Street. Earth Street is just one mile north of Peckham Road.

 This tour stop will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. Producers at this stop get the same information presented at Cherokee, but a few additional comments will be made about the fertility demonstrations located here. OCES is evaluating some additional nitrogen use efficiency treatments at this site.

The final tour stop will be 10 a.m. Friday. This tour location is in Major County, just 1 mile north of the Homestead Elevators and turn east about one-quarter of a mile. The same discussion will be presented at this location.

If you have questions about these tours, contact your county OCES ag educator for additional information.

Gribble is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service northwest area agronomist.