What is in this article?:
- Parmer County, Texas, remains dry.
- Even with irrigation, making a crop under these prolonged drought conditions is an onerous undertaking.
- The combination of grain sorghum and no-till is a good option for this area.
OLD CROP RESIDUES HELPS hold
moisture and prevent wind erosion
on Wade Schueler’s cropland.
Schueler is turning to no-till or
strip-till to limit erosion and
He thinks that CRP acreage will have some stored moisture and he will have irrigation capability. “I’ll have a half-circle of grain sorghum and a half-circle of corn on CRP land.”
Some of that sorghum will be conventionally-tilled.
Last year’s milo made about 105 bushels per acre, no-till, irrigated behind wheat. “I cut the wheat, swathed and baled the straw and no-tilled into stubble. All the moisture it got came through the sprinklers and I put close to 20 inches on it.”
He had half the pivot circle in grain sorghum and half in soybeans. Soybeans yielded 23 bushels per acre, “pretty good for the year we had,” Schueler says. But soybeans are tough to manage in the area because there is no local market. “We had to take them to Wichita, Kansas.”
He says weed control is one of the biggest challenges with milo. “I look forward to getting herbicide resistant grain sorghum,” he says. “That will be a game changer.”
He won the yield contest last year with Channel 5C35, a short-season hybrid he planted late, behind harvested wheat. He’ll plant more of that this year and also a full season Channel hybrid, possibly some DeKalb and perhaps some Pioneer selections. He says both of those seed companies had hybrids among the top yields in the 2011 contest.
Schueler also has 75 acres of irrigated barley he’s growing under contract for seed this spring. “That’s the only winter crop I’m growing.” He’ll double crop corn and grain sorghum for silage behind failed wheat.
He says 60 acres of grain sorghum will be devoted to silage production, contracted to a local feedyard. “I have 60 acres open that can go to silage or grain, depending on the year.”
Much of his corn will be silage.