What is in this article?:
- Early maturity for coastal grain sorghum
- Harvest aids
- Coastal grain sorghum harvest prep may save grain.
- Excessive heat and a lack of rainfall forced early planted grain sorghum in the Coastal Bend to mature early.
- Some harvest in the region started last week and is expected to pick up in the days ahead.
Only two products are labeled for use as harvest aids: sodium chlorate (containing a fire retardant) and glyphosate. For satisfactory results, good spray coverage is needed for both products. Eight to 10 gallons per acre of solution by ground or 3 to 5 gallons per acre by air is recommended.
Sodium chlorate, which can cause fires if it is not mixed with a retardant, is a chemically active salt that desiccates the plant. Growers may apply up to 6 pounds per acre. This product is sold under various trade names and concentrations of active ingredient per gallon. For good desiccation, the weather must be hot and dry.
Glyphosate herbicide kills the plant. Producers may make a single application of up to 2 quarts per acre. Once it is applied to sorghum, the plant moves the glyphosate to the growing point over a 5 to 6 day period. Weeds that are actively growing when
the product is applied will also be destroyed.
Use a sprayable grade of ammonium sulfate at a rate of 17 pounds per 100 gallons of water or a prepackaged sulfate formulation to condition the water and improve effectiveness. There is a 7-day waiting interval between application and harvest. The crop is usually ready 7 to 10 days after application.
Glyphosate also controls rhizome Johnsongrass, silverleaf nightshade, morning glory, field bindweed and most other perennial weeds.
Stapper recommends growers should only treat those acres that can be harvested within 10 days to two weeks after application. Weather and storms in the Gulf should also be a consideration. To avoid any premature lodging, inspect the field before the application. He advises producers to look for stalk degradation from diseases such as charcoal rot, which will cause premature lodging during natural dry down or after harvest aids are applied.