Cody Sassmann of Owensville, MO, won first place in the National Sorghum Producers’ 2014 yield contest with 207.98 bu/acre in the no-till, non-irrigated category.
Besides grain sorghum, or milo, Sassmann grows soybeans, wheat and hay, and he has 250 head of beef cows.
Winning a national yield contest is a huge honor. But Sassmann says he’s even more excited about the average in the field where the sorghum test plot was located. That 40-acre field averaged 160 bushels per acre, about twice the average sorghum yield in Missouri.
Sassmann attributes his outstanding 2014 yields to the year’s great growing conditions, healthy plant stands and good genetics PLUS excellent soil fertility, including GYPSOIL brand gypsum.
GYPSOIL was new to Sassmann’s operation in 2014. Last spring he applied the product on about 400 acres, to the sorghum acres plus on soybean and hay ground. Sassmann used a rate of one ton per acre with a goal of flushing magnesium from his tight clay soils to combat poor soil structure. Plus he wanted to add valuable sulfur.
“Sorghum is in the grass family and it really likes sulfur,” says Sassmann. GYPSOIL (CaSO42H2O) provides 17-20 percent calcium and13-16 percent sulfate sulfur. “The sulfur in GYPSOIL is the cheapest source I can get.”
Sassmann designed a simple comparison to measure GYPSOIL’s impact by applying half of another field with one ton per acre and leaving the other half of the field untreated. Visual differences between the two sides were dramatic and Sassmann noticed a 10-15 bushel difference on his yield monitor last fall.
“The yield was phenomenal,” he says, adding that the grain heads protruded farther from the plant which makes it easier to harvest. “It was the prettiest sorghum I’ve ever grown.”
Sassmann has also noticed some signs of soil structural improvements after applying GYPSOIL. “The soil was more mellow and seemed to infiltrate water better than before I used the gypsum," Sassmann added.