A Kansas no-tiller has set a yield record for dryland sorghum in the western half of the U.S.
The National Sorghum Producers announced the winner of their 2021 yield contest and full results on Monday. Kasey Gamble, who operates dryland no-till acres in Kiowa County, Kansas, secured the Bin Buster Award with a yield of 244.03 bushels per acre. Gamble grew the Pioneer 85P44 seed variety to secure the win. The contest was started by the producers’ association in 1985.
The producers’ association separates winners into categories based on whether or not tillage is undertaken, but does not offer specific categories related to other forms of alternative tillage, like strip-till, min-till, ridge-till or vertical till.
Gamble was followed by Hartley County, Texas grower Tom Vogel, who produced 241.18 bu. per acre and Warren County, New Jersey no-tiller Chris Santini, who grew 234.90 bu. per acre.
In addition to setting the record, top farmers growing in the no-till category outperformed their traditional tillage counterparts. Gamble’s category — the No-Till Western Category — averaged a yield of 236.53 bu. per acre. They were followed by the No-Till Eastern Category, which turned in an average of 221.93 bu. per acre.
The sorghum producers also track yield contest winners down to the state and county level.
At the state level, irrigated farms — the category does not indicate what tillage method was used — outperformed dry land farms. State winners in the Irrigated Western category led all farmers with an average yield of 192.72 bu. per acre, followed by Dryland No-Till Eastern farmers, who produced an average of 182.19 bu. per acre, and Irrigated Eastern farmers, who averaged 174.18 bu. per acre. That last category includes fewer entries (4) than any other category, increasing the likelihood of a higher average.
At the county level, which contained the largest number of entries, Irrigated Western again led, with 186.33 bu. per acre averaged over 17 entries, followed by Dryland No-Till Eastern (180.66 bu. per acre) and Irrigated Eastern, with 174.66.
More information about the contest and how to enter is available online.