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Is Sorghum planted with a corn planter?

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Thad in AR. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is Sorghum planted with a corn planter?
    Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 6:59am
Just curious.
Also are there several varieties?
Interested mainly in molasses variety.
What’s the difference in Sorghum and milo?
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DMiller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 7:46am
From Thad
What’s the difference in Sorghum and milo?

Sorghum IS Milo, is how it is harvested and processed that makes the Grain or Juice.
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Thad in AR. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 7:52am
Originally posted by DMiller DMiller wrote:

From Thad
<span style="color: rgb0, 0, 36; : rgb254, 252, 212;">What’s the difference in Sorghum and milo?</span>
<span style="color: rgb0, 0, 36; : rgb254, 252, 212;">
</span>
<span style="color: rgb0, 0, 36; : rgb254, 252, 212;">Sorghum IS Milo, is how it is harvested and processed that makes the Grain or Juice.</span>

Thank you. I knew it looked the same. Dad quit growing milo when I was too young to have helped harvest.
I
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 7:53am
As to planting, It USED to be planted same distance apart as Corn, however seed plates are quite different.  Would need a Roller Mill and I have NOT seen one in years to Squeeze the Juice from the Canes to retain and boil down for Sorghum Molasses.  Do not know of ANYBODY near here that still does this either, maybe the Mennonites still do.

Great Uncle would grow it for a neighbor that collected the juice and boiled it down for livestock feed additive, heads were harvested with combine HIGH Header setting so stalks and canes could be then cut and collected.  Are several Variety of Cane length Milo to get a better juicing volume.  Seed sold, then Stalks juiced and Molasses made for a reasonable return crop.

OKLAHOMA Farms and some TX or S KS farms still raise it as a Alternate rotator.


Edited by DMiller - 02 Jul 2022 at 7:53am
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Thad in AR. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 7:57am
Dave I belong to the Historical society here.
I was approached by a guy that has a sorghum press dor sale.
The historical society is has a pioneer days every September. We’re considering adding this to the show.
I’m just doing research to find all the info I can before we think seriously about this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 8:39am
Will need to research the cook down part, not sure what all was involved of that or the way they caught the juice off the press.

Be ready though, IIRC this was a manpower intense operation. Engine or mules running press, field hands feeding press, other hands managing the mountain of stalks, then those busting butt to move liquids to cook tank(metal trough) and those keeping the fire kindled to a soft boil in that tank. I also have no idea how to determine consistency or ‘color’ of the cooked mix to tell when is done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACinSC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 8:52am
Quite a few years ago my uncle used to make cane syrup . Favorite son drove our D 15 in a circle as he had no mule . Wish I had some pictures

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lars(wi) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 9:04am
Years ago, our ‘cross the road neighbor’ mixed in the sorghum seeds in with the seed corn planter boxes, on the fields that were going to be used for corn silage that fall. He claimed that made better silage for his herd of Guernsey’s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 9:24am
Once saw a video of an old riding mower with a crazy wheel on the front that powered a sorghum press.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 9:28am
Originally posted by Lars(wi) Lars(wi) wrote:

Years ago, our ‘cross the road neighbor’ mixed in the sorghum seeds in with the seed corn planter boxes, on the fields that were going to be used for corn silage that fall. He claimed that made better silage for his herd of Guernsey’s.

Would be Sweeter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ACinSC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 9:56am
Yeah Thad it didn't take long for my son to get tired of driving in circles. Uncle rigged up a 2 wheeled mule/tiller.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Coke-in-MN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 10:10am
Hand processing cane - the start to final 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poWPZdJas0Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CSZ6-GH_sI


Edited by Coke-in-MN - 02 Jul 2022 at 10:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 9:47pm
Dad would sometimes grow forage sorghum with cow peas for silage. Too high in moisture. Remember juice running out of silo. Next year he added dry citrus pulp to the silage at the flower. Made great feed but I can't imagine the cost now adays
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DiyDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 4:34am
Back to the planting question, The seed looks like a BB but smaller.  I used a grain drill and it came up fine...Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 6:31am
Originally posted by DiyDave DiyDave wrote:

Back to the planting question, The seed looks like a BB but smaller.  I used a grain drill and it came up fine...Wink

I wondered about that.
Spacing might be tight.
Didn’t know if there are corn planter plates for sorghum or not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dennis J OPKs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 6:58am
There are/were planter plates for milo/sorghum.  They are round holes in the plate big enough for the seed to fall into-one seed per hole.  I guess they are a pretty rare and hard to find item now unless there is a stash of old plates somewhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 8:14am
I think back in the day a lot of guys in the plains at least used drills for milo (the term I generally see used for varieties grown/harvested for grain). Probably most guys in the Midwest did? Otherwise I think you'd see more milo plates for plate type planters available than you do. Not sure if sorghum growers had different practices. Would there be any old farmers in your area that used to grow it and would be happy to tell stories?

Nowadays I think it's much more common to use your vac or brush meter row crop planter, and the drills have gotten fancier too. I think it can be planted either way. I kind of think a drill would work fine for what you are wanting to do, but not being familiar with sorghum, I don't want to say that 100%.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riprock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 9:00am
My uncle used to make molasses, planted with "cane plates" in a 2 row corn planter. I looked on the web for the type pan he used and found the link below. His was like the one with dividers in it like the 4th picture in the link.

 He had his roller mill on the hill above the building the pan was in. The juice went into a cut-off barrel with a cloth over it as a filter and then through a hose to a barrel next to the pan inside the building. It had a valve and the juice went straight into the pan. The pan was split into batches using small rolled up towels as stoppers. You had to keep something in the pan to keep it from burning up so you started and finished with water in the pan.
 The juice on the upper end took up more channels, and then the next batch would use maybe one or two less and so on as it took less space as it boiled down. So you pushed the batch down the pan into the next section as the previous batch was removed there was a plug on the last section you removed so they flowed out and then bottled.

 I think his pan was about 8 foot or so long and let him cook several batches at the same time. Fired with slabs, it was an art to keep everything going.

I watched a couple videos and everyone has their own way it seems. We always stripped the leaves and cut the tops then went back and cut the cane never letting the end of the stalk hit the dirt.

 He tried different varieties of cane, the only one I remember was blue ribbon.

Here's the link 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NEVER green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 9:16am

   We used a grain drill also, you can plug every other hole.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dennis J OPKs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2022 at 9:20am
The plates for the old AC planters were interchangeable with Deere plates without any modification.
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We planted some a couple years in mid 70's. Used a JD 490 planter, cultivated same as corn, neighbor combined it with IH 715 combine, put it in metal bin and ground it thru a Gehl grinder mixer for hog feed. It was itchy combining and every batch of feed it was itchy also. Only had 1 nice Stanhoist metal barge wagon so borrowed 1 or 2 wooden wagons from neighbor, had to tack feed sacks inside them to keep it from leaking out. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ron Eggen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2022 at 4:22pm
One of our neighbors grows ours for our engine show the third weekend in September. Yesterday he said that it is about one foot tall. It loves hot and dry weather and not too good a ground . He stores several heads of seed in his freezer from year to year. It doesn't tolerate herbicide at all . He hoes ours and thins it to about 8 to 12 inches apart in 30 inch rows.  we strip the leaves and cut the heads off a week or two before the show. It can be stored for several weeks cut, but don't let it get rained on. Our press had been converted to run off the pto , we only cook 1 panfull a day and usually end up with 100 or so pints in two days. It is hard work but fun and productive .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pat the Plumber CIL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2022 at 5:30pm
There was someone on this site that raised sorghum, squeezed/pressed & cooked it down. I bought a couple jars and still have one. He was from Ohio, Brian maybe? He also sold ice to his Amish neighbors. Anyone else remember him . He hasn't posted in years
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2022 at 5:52am
Originally posted by Pat the Plumber CIL Pat the Plumber CIL wrote:

There was someone on this site that raised sorghum, squeezed/pressed & cooked it down. I bought a couple jars and still have one. He was from Ohio, Brian maybe? He also sold ice to his Amish neighbors. Anyone else remember him . He hasn't posted in years

I remember him as well. I also bought Sorguhm molasses from him.
Can’t remember his name.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2022 at 6:31am
Can tell ya', sorghum beer kinda sucks.  

All I've ever grown is sorghum -sudangrass hybrid, so can't comment otherwise, except those seeds are way too small for a corn planter, and plant 40+ pounds per acre!Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 200Tom1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2022 at 12:56am
My grand dad had a sorghum mill. If you are gonna make molasses, do not allow your sorghum to touch the ground. It will make it have a funny taste. Do not over cook your sorghum. It will taste burnt. Not something you want. It's really nasty tasting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shameless dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2022 at 2:49am
Pat...I also bought some molasses from someone on this forum, still have part of a bottle, a little bit goes a long ways! I too don't remmber who it was, but he posted a lot of pics on the process they went thru. maybe somewhere in the arcives? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shameless dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2022 at 2:52am
oh...and yes Thad it can and has been planted with a corn planter, i might have some plates here for it. you can plant that nasty/itchy/dusty, did i mention ITCHY? whew! Dad planted it one year to feed the hogs and cattle, stored it in a wooden grainery with only one door, when it came time to remove it, was when he bought his first auger! what's that tell ya? lol 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thad in AR. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2022 at 6:12am
Originally posted by shameless dude shameless dude wrote:

oh...and yes Thad it can and has been planted with a corn planter, i might have some plates here for it. you can plant that nasty/itchy/dusty, did i mention ITCHY? whew! Dad planted it one year to feed the hogs and cattle, stored it in a wooden grainery with only one door, when it came time to remove it, was when he bought his first auger! what's that tell ya? lol 

That tells me you’re an ole hand at this.
I think when I get this press all set up and the cooker ready , you may want to take an annual trip to enjoy a nice cool September Arkansas weekend of making molasses.
You’re gonna feel good about this. No need for a thank you card. You can thank me when you arrive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shameless dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2022 at 7:32am
yeah....i'll thank you with a 2x4 to the.....lol  cool Sept Ark.....my A$$!
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