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Discussion Starter #1
You really can't tell it by the pic, but the milo ~way~ out in the middle of the field (the rows are just over a mile long) is much more mature than the green stuff in the forefront of the pic. Still, this green will screw up a moisture test, so we'll have to wait 'till it turns...might even take a freeze....





**Edit**
I mentioned somewhere that these rows, here in this field, are a little over a mile long. There is a windmill in the far background. It is simply a little 'dot' in the [top] pic, but in reality, it is a 12 foot AirMotor Windmill on a 40 foot tower (w/10 foot stub tower).
The windmill in the pic is at about "1 o'clock" (for reference).
I just thought this would give some perspective as to the length of the rows. I am assuming that this is not "the norm" (?)
 

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Wow, it looks like you have had some Good Rain, That Sorghums Looking Spectacular (even if it is atad green)

How Much rain did you get last time Rain fell?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
HopAlong:
At this point, I do not want to. There are a lot of green berries that, if given time, will make a ~bunch~ of grain! Right now, they have not filled, completely.

I have a feeling that mother nature is going to "RoundUp" (freeze
) all the milo around here before long.
Some of the forecasts that I watch seem to concur...but you never know...I have never sprayed RoundUp on milo to speed it up, but I will keep that in mind. Thanks!
 

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Nice looking milo, TX. I haven't looked at ours in a few days due to corn harvest but last I knew it was a little more mature than yours, which is weird considering you're farther south. I think we've been a lot drier, though; haven't had a decent rain since the first week of August. It sure is easy to tell which varieties are more drought resistant.
 

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What you want from milo, is the the little round bean like grains from the top of the plant, right? I know nothing about milo, which is why i am asking.

If so, then omg there is a yield potential in a crop like that! how much does a good Milo crop yield?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RubberDuck wrote:

Quote:What you want from milo, is the the little round bean like grains from the top of the plant, right? I know nothing about milo, which is why i am asking.
If so, then omg there is a yield potential in a crop like that! how much does a good Milo crop yield?


Hey RubberDuck,
Shoot, there's no shame in not knowing about crops from over here! I am glad you asked!

YES. When we harvest milo, we are going after the "little round bean-like grains"...i.e. the grain (just like you said)
This year, we have some fields that sure look as though they will yield 5,000+ pounds per acre. (that kind of yield is good for this part of the country...Our usual yield is more like 3,000-3,500 lbs. per acre)
Keep in mind that this is dryland milo (pictured), and not irrigated. Milo is mainly used for cattle feed, which is a good thing, since the Texas panhandle is one of the largest cattle feeding areas in the United States. The ethanol plants are likely to want milo, too. Also, Budwiser started making a beer made from milo...
Ooops, can't forget about "pop-milo" (my own word for the milo version of pop corn)

**Edit** I forgot to mention that we graze our mother cows on the milo stalks after we harvest the milo. We make our 'main living' from a cow/calf operation. There always seems to be some blown down/fallen down milo still in the field, and the cows do very good on this, plus the milo stalks. We usually wean the calves, and then turn the cows in on the milo stalk field. Milo stalks help the cow to "mend up" (get fat, and recover from the calf always sucking on her!), and also the stalks keep the cow's mind off of wondering where her calf went!
 

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Quote:RubberDuck wrote:

Quote:What you want from milo, is the the little round bean like grains from the top of the plant, right? I know nothing about milo, which is why i am asking.
If so, then omg there is a yield potential in a crop like that! how much does a good Milo crop yield?


Hey RubberDuck,
Shoot, there's no shame in not knowing about crops from over here! I am glad you asked!

YES. When we harvest milo, we are going after the "little round bean-like grains"...i.e. the grain (just like you said)
This year, we have some fields that sure look as though they will yield 5,000+ pounds per acre. (that kind of yield is good for this part of the country...Our usual yield is more like 3,000-3,500 lbs. per acre)
Keep in mind that this is dryland milo (pictured), and not irrigated. Milo is mainly used for cattle feed, which is a good thing, since the Texas panhandle is one of the largest cattle feeding areas in the United States. The ethanol plants are likely to want milo, too. Also, Budwiser started making a beer made from milo...
Ooops, can't forget about "pop-milo" (my own word for the milo version of pop corn)

**Edit** I forgot to mention that we graze our mother cows on the milo stalks after we harvest the milo. We make our 'main living' from a cow/calf operation. There always seems to be some blown down/fallen down milo still in the field, and the cows do very good on this, plus the milo stalks. We usually wean the calves, and then turn the cows in on the milo stalk field. Milo stalks help the cow to "mend up" (get fat, and recover from the calf always sucking on her!), and also the stalks keep the cow's mind off of wondering where her calf went!


Thats the Same what as we do at Silverton, What doesnt get eaten gets hit by the Chisel Plow.

@ TxFarmer: Do you do Zero Till planting on your property?
 

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TxFarmer...you use a straight bar or a row head to harvest the milo? I run a row head for fall crops (Milo and Beans). Never been in a field that would have one mile long rows, 1/2 mile is common around here....by the way, NICE looken Milo! Enjoy harvesting that crop, they don't come around here that often.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:@ TxFarmer: Do you do Zero Till planting on your property?
We have done some no-till milo into wheat stubble. We are gearing up to try some strip till. With cattle on the fields, sometimes, we are hoping that the strip till will do the right amount of "loosening".


Quote:TxFarmer...you use a straight bar or a row head to harvest the milo?
I own a (recently, totally rebuilt) 853A JD Row Crop Head, but would much rather cut standing milo with the 930R Platform (w/Crop Savers). If the milo is down, or leaning hard, the 853A is the only way to go.
 

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TxFarmer.....been there, done that! Totally rebuilt my plain 853 row head a few weeks ago....Hummm, $4k later and it now runs like a sewing machine! Have cut some Milo but the rest is not ready so have been sowing wheat. The beans are a few weeks away...can't wait to get into them....they look good and so does the price.....$9.50 a bu here today.
 

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We rebuilt both of our 853As last summer. It's quite a job, isn't it? It sure makes a nice machine with new gathering belts, knives, and drive chains, though. Have you guys ever used Hesstons for milo? Dad and Grandad got rid of them in the early '80s so I've never seen them in action. Judging by what I've seen at farm sales they're every bit the hassle Dad said they were.



This is what I can't wait to harvest. I wish all of our irrigated looked this good.

I'd say we're about two weeks away from milo harvest, at least. Have to get the more valuable crops out of the way first. Maybe we'll get a rain and can plant some wheat as well.
 

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Quote:Stuff

Wow, that was enlightning indeed! Thanks alot!

5000 pounds/ acre is aproximatly 2,5 ton/acre multiplied by 2,4 is around 6 tons/hectare!

Now i consider that an extremely good crop for american and australian standards. Especially since its not irrigated! Now, i understand that there are diffrent factors that can have an effect to the overall outcome of the crop, but i would like some insight to the fundementals of growing milo, which leads me to my next question:

What sort of input is required to establish a milo crop? This of course varies from grower to grower, but aproximatly how large is the "investment" for planting an acre of milo, including sprays, seeds, fertilizers and labour?

Considering the high yield, and the commodity prices on agricultural goods these days, and finally the dual purpose of the crop, i wouldnt be suprised if you told me, that milo is the financial backbone for many "croppers"

EDIT: Can you grow milo in the same field, year after year withouth any significant negative consequenses? Or does it need to be in a crop rotation with certain interval between the years with milo? (fx 3 milo free years)

If its in a crop rotation, what would be the best crop to grow after milo? We all know that wheat after corn or canolla yields more than wheat after wheat, but does milo have a simelar effect?

I know i ask alot, but im curious and wikipedia and google is lacking a little compared to you guys.
 

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I'd hate to hijack TxFarmer's thread, but since I'm here I thought I'd give your questions a shot, rubberduck. I'll start by directing you here: http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/crpsl2/c687.pdf
I'm an OSU man, but I'll admit K-State knows sorghum. This will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about milo. Oh, and a little clarification: what we grow now is technically called grain sorghum. Milo is a progenitor of our modern sorghum. The old name just stuck. I grew up calling it maize, but I'm not sure where that came from. It's just what Granddad always said.

The economics of milo can vary greatly depending on yield potential. In a dry year, it can be put in the ground with little input and a timely rain or two can make a crop. If one has good irrigation water, it can be treated like corn (i.e. with lots of fertilizer and other inputs) and the yield can be tremendous. Despite it's usefulness, though, the demand for milo isn't that high, so the price is lower than corn. Locally, milo is 29 cents under the December corn price at CBOT. When the price of corn was in the toilet we grew a lot of irrigated milo because it was cheaper to produce, but next year I don't think we'll have any. Corn and soybeans just pencil out better. We will still have dryland milo, though. It's just a good crop to grow if faced with limited water.

Continuous milo usually doesn't work very well, at least in my part of the country. Johnsongrass and shattercane (wild milo) are big problems in irrigated fields that have been in milo for a few years. Other grasses (like sandbur and the various foxtails) are problems in dryland fields. Herbicides can work, but options for postemerge application are slim. Rotating with another crop will help break the weed cycles as well. There is an exception to every rule, however. We have one 200 field of dryland milo where about 150 acres was planted into last year's wheat stubble. The other 50 was planted in last year's milo stubble. The milo-after-milo is cleaner and better looking than the milo-after-wheat.

A common dryland rotation in my area is wheat-sorghum-fallow. A quarter-section might be divided into thirds, where every year two-thirds of the quarter are making money, where the other third is not doing anything until the next spring. Simple, but effective.

As for irrigated land, it's too valuable to lay fallow. Rotating from milo to wheat is hard to do because after milo is harvested there isn't enough window to plant wheat. We would usually switch to corn, but next year we'll have two fields go from milo to beans. Corn and beans can be taken off the field earlier than milo (in case we wanted to go back to wheat).

If you're still awake by now, kudos. I barely am. I don't know how well I answered your questions; I probably just caused new ones. I'm sure some of the older guys around here can explain things a lot better than I can.

Kevin
 

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TxFarmer, I can remember those Hesstons very, very well. Seen them in use as a teenager! For nostalgia's sake, they had the trade name, "Head Hunter" and for a very good reason. The advertising literature stated that they were "The only crop insurance you could buy after the weather." That they were, too!


Yes, they were enough of a hassle, that many farmers and even some combiners, found and old "dead" header, and just fitted the HH's in place, and that became the row head.


1975 was the beginning of a fast end for the Head Hunters. John Deere revolutionized row crop harvesting with their new row head, not for corn, but would take on sorghum, sunflower, soybeans and many vegetables grown for seed and stuff like that.


Now, Deere doesn't even make that fabulous header anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yep, Combiness, now that you mention it, I remember them being called Head Hunters!
I have installed Hesstons, and then turned around and taken them off ~way~ too many times! It was a very, very "glorious" day when we bought a dedicated header for them! For their time, they did/do a VERY good job! That long ol' belt that ran 'em all...that was probably the one part that I didn't like...but who cares about that, right?


I know of one farmer that still has a dedicated platform with Hesstons bolted on...ready to go!! He keeps it under a shed, and keeps the ~long~ belts in the barn..
By golly, he can dang sure pick up the milo, too! After running them for several years, I am convinced that Hesstons took a little more finesse to operate than do modern day row heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:Wow, that was enlightning indeed! Thanks alot!

5000 pounds/ acre is aproximatly 2,5 ton/acre multiplied by 2,4 is around 6 tons/hectare!

Now i consider that an extremely good crop for american and australian standards. Especially since its not irrigated! Now, i understand that there are diffrent factors that can have an effect to the overall outcome of the crop, but i would like some insight to the fundementals of growing milo, which leads me to my next question:

What sort of input is required to establish a milo crop? This of course varies from grower to grower, but aproximatly how large is the "investment" for planting an acre of milo, including sprays, seeds, fertilizers and labour?

Considering the high yield, and the commodity prices on agricultural goods these days, and finally the dual purpose of the crop, i wouldnt be suprised if you told me, that milo is the financial backbone for many "croppers"

EDIT: Can you grow milo in the same field, year after year withouth any significant negative consequenses? Or does it need to be in a crop rotation with certain interval between the years with milo? (fx 3 milo free years)

If its in a crop rotation, what would be the best crop to grow after milo? We all know that wheat after corn or canolla yields more than wheat after wheat, but does milo have a simelar effect?

I know i ask alot, but im curious and wikipedia and google is lacking a little compared to you guys.

Hello All:
Sorry I have not answered y'alls ("Texas Word" for "you guys"
LOL
) questions earlier...I spent last night in the ER, and should have gone sooner. I have been totally miserable, sick (puking) ; and was trying to play tough (trying to stick it out, and not go to hospital). My "hanging on" did not work, though, as I dehydrated, BAD, and finally had to go...OK, enough about that!

OKPanhandle: You have some nice milo, too. Yes, there is NOTHING like operating a really nice Row Head, huh? Sweet! I don't mind you answering my question...I am glad you did.

BrickWalker: Hey there, Mate! Strip till is not new to the US, but it is "new" to us drylanders, here in the Texas Panhandle. I suppose the guys in the Corn Belt, and surrounding areas have been at it for some time now. In brief, strip till is driving, pulling a strip till rig, and making strips. Most strip till rigs are the same size/spacing as the owner's planter. (For me, my planter and strip till rig are both 12 row, 30" spacing) My strip till rig goes as follows (from front to back):
  • Coulter
    Mole Knife
    Closing Discs
    Chopping Basket
    (12 rows of the above mentioned items, @ 30" spacing)
    Markers (if needed...or Auto Steer/RTK...I have both, since I bought my rig used)
The coulter will cut things, so the mole knife will slice through my wheat stubble residue..and do some "mini ripping", while at the same time apply NH3 (nitrogen fertilizer). The closing discs put the dirt back where it came from, and the chopping baskets just pulverize everything, leaving a slight berm (that will settle) and a great seed bed. It is imperative to plant ~right~ on top of your strips in order for your seed to be planted in "clear, clean ground" and also so it will get all the fertilizer. I have a good auto steer system, and have heard that strip tilling pretty much requires auto steer/RTK. Strip tilling will allow us to do away with some compaction that the cattle may have caused ; and also one can put about 25% less fertilizer down and still get the same results..
Here is a link to "strip tilling 101": http://www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/publications/horizons/2000/striptillage.pdf Below, at the end of this post, is a pic of my used/new to me strip till rig. It was built on a 12 row JD 7200 Planter Frame...but that is another topic. If someone wants details, PM me, or start another thread!

RubberDuck:
My reply might be a whole lot like OkPanhandle's, as we are not too far apart (physical distance).
A good planter is the first thing for a good milo crop. There are still a few guys around here trying to put milo in with their drills (tool to sow wheat with, or hay). I am not making fun of them...it's just that the drills around here just will not turn down low enough...they are putting out too much seed!!! I have a 2006 CIH 1200 Stack-Fold, 12 row/ 30" spacing. I have SunCo Trash Wheels on it, and they really move the straw in order to get a clean row , and also achieve good seed-to-soil contact.
I do things a whole lot like OKPanhandle does. We rotate wheat/milo/fallow, also. If you don't, we will get Johnson Grass out the wazoo, and all other types of grass! "It takes wheat to clean a field up!", said my grandfather many years ago...and boy, he is right! There are a few guys that do continous milo sometiimes, and most of the time, it is a wreck!
We have to have a chemical called "Dual" applied ~right~ behind the planter. We stick a sniff of Atrazine in with the dual, also. The Dual keeps the field clean of grass during the milo's growing season...and the cost is right around $15/ac, applied. I have a good spray rig, but it is not huge and fancy. During planting season, I let the custom spray guy "chase my planter"...that way all I have to concentrate on is planting!
This year is shaping up to be a good milo year. I say shaping up because until the crop is IN THE BIN, you just don't have it, yet. About anything can happen,as this time of year can switch ends (weather) almost over night. Right now, the milo is standing, but one freeze, and one good wind storm...and the crop will be down on the ground...maybe not all of it, but surely enough to justify the row head. The row head is a header for the combine, in lieu of the platform. I would rather cut milo with the 30 foot platform if the milo is standing. A row head is SUPER nice, but boy, there are a LOT of bearings, chains, etc on each row. It IS a high wear/maintanence header, but there is nothing like it when you need it!

Who mentioned the Hesston's??
Sorry, I can't remember, nor find it. YES, we used to have a set of Hesston's! FOR THEIR TIME, they were pretty darn good. For years, we would keep them in the barn, and put them on when we needed them. THIS was the worst part of it all, as they are big, bulky, and combersome. Later, we bought another platform, mounted the Hesston's on that platform, and left them there...install and removal no longer an issue...just plug into the header and go! Much nicer than having to take 'em off and on. They did a pretty darn good job, too! They have some little fingers/spikes down low, in front...and those spike could be run ~just~ under the ground, and they would "lift" the milo, then the gathering belts would pull the milo on in. Hesston's are not as good as a row head, but dollar-for-dollar, they did hold their own!
When we bought our 9600, we let our 7720, 224 header, and the Hesston's w/platform go (all in) on trade. I immidiately bought an JD 853A row head @ a farm sale, then brought it home, and rebuilt it row by row during the winter.

Sorry if I did not cover all the bases. I am still dreary from the meds that shot me up with. Am I "old" cause I know, and have worked on Hesston's????

Oh, well...it's all good!

**Edit**
BrickWalker:
You may have already seen this link, as I believe it was originally posted to me by someone else on this Forum. This link is describing what NOT to do pertaining to strip till.
http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/corn/avoid_strip_till_mistakes/
If you have access to NH3 and/or dry (or liquid, as far as that goes), you might consider a strip till rig. It sounds like yours' & mine operation is not all that different. You can see in the pic below that this rig is able to apply NH3 and dry at the same time. This is simply the route I have chosen. Many opt for liquid (only) or liquid and dry, or whatever. Besides using less fertilizer, and achieving the same result(s) ; I am convinced that the ripping action of the mini mole knife is going to benefit us (help do away with 'cattle compaction'..I don't have a big compaction problem, but if I do have some, this really ought to help
)


Again, I am new to strip tilling, and I am...by NO means....an expert! If you want to talk about it more, though, PM me, or email, or whatever...I have done a lot of reading, and also have a good buddy (a mate, right?!
) that has been doing it for some time, now. He is my 'mentor', and has helped me a lot. The big blue pump on the back/center of the rig is a NH3 pump, made by Dempster. It is setup where one "dials in" the amount of NH3 you want to apply. Once set, the operator does not have to keep ground speed constant...whether you go slow, or fast, it applies the "dialed in" amount. This is great for hired men...and for me, too!
 
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