Boise City Father and Son Team to Bring Home National First Place Honors in

Sorghum Yield & Management Contest

The C Bar Farms of Boise City, Okla. placed first nationally in the mulch till, non-irrigated category of the 2005 National Sorghum Producers Yield and Management Contest. John and Nathan Crabtree, a father and son team, will be honored at the 2006 North American Grain Congress, the joint conference of the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), in San Antonio Feb. 4-8.

The contest plot yielded 114 bushels per acre, out-yielding the 5-year Cimarron County average by 84 bushels.

The Crabtrees planted Golden Harvest H-390 at a planting rate of 18,000 seeds per acre. John said, “We listened to our dealer's recommendation and what he suggests for us. Actually, we've reduced our planting rates for several years. We kind of like that population and that's where we've stayed.”

Crabtree said, “It was a pretty fun year to grow sorghum. We still had sandbur pressure, but the way the rains came, it allowed us to get sorghum up and growing in good shape.” Moisture, though below average, came at the right time. “We were really blessed with timely moisture. The sorghum did better than dryland corn in a side-by-side comparison. Sorghum is pretty efficient on water usage.” Crabtree said that they usually rotate from wheat to sorghum to fallow.

The Crabtrees applied 65 pounds of anhydrous ammonia per acre, an additional 8 pounds of nitrogen, 28 pounds of phosphorous, 8 pounds of potash and trace elements. They soil test every other year.

For pre-plant weed and grass control, the Crabtrees used one pound of Atrazine per acre, 32 ounces of Touchdown and 21 ounces of Credit Extra per acre. At post emergence, the Crabtrees applied 4 ounces of Banvel and a half-ounce of Peak per acre. “We're mainly trying to go more into mulch till or no till, using herbicides more than tillage,” said Crabtree.

High input costs concern Crabtree. “It doesn't make you really look forward to the future too much, especially with the fuel. We're going to have to look at ways at cutting corners even more so. I think no till and mulch till will help us in that area and save us trips over the field. Come spring, we'll see where we can save on energy costs and maybe fine-tune the program even more and really look at what we need. “

Crabtree said he usually leaves the marketing to his son, Nathan, who is also a vice-president at a local bank. John said that Nathan plays the futures and works with Darren Newton, a Cargill Certified SolutionPro. “It's still a guessing game,” said John. “I hadn't seen anybody's crystal ball that worked every time.”

To learn more about the contest or to compare county averages and winning yields of the winners, visit

NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers nationwide. Headquartered in Lubbock , Texas , in the heart of the U.S. Sorghum Belt that stretches from the Rockies to the Mississippi River and from South Texas to South Dakota , the organization works to ensure the profitability of sorghum production through market development, research, education and legislative representation.

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