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Still not convinced about the benefits of no-till grain sorghum? Take a look at what no-till cropping has done for Clyde, Kan., grain sorghum producer Gary Resco.
Resco captured the no-till yield championship in the National Grain Sorghum Producer’s 2003 Yield and Management Contest with a yield of 151.28 bushels per acre. Resco’s winning entry came off a highly productive piece of river bottomland, but he used the same no-till production techniques to average 95 bushels per acre from 350 acres of grain sorghum. That compares to a county average of 56.5 bushels per acre.
Experts say conservation-tillage techniques can save about 1/2 inch of moisture for every tillage pass that’s eliminated, increase organic matter in the soil, and reduce field time and fuel consumption. Resco, who follows 2 years of wheat with no-till grain sorghum, confirms that the no-till program he’s practiced for the past 7 years has improved moisture conservation and the structure of his soils.
“Like much of the rest of the state last year, we got our last real rainfall the first of July, and then it stayed dry the rest of the season,” he recalls. “But no-tilling my grain sorghum directly into fallow wheat stubble did give us a moisture advantage. We started the season with a full moisture profile, which pretty much carried us through to harvest.
“We started planting May 20th and used a John Deere 1760 MaxiMerge planter to place the seed 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches deep,”…