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prett y well for us,” he said. “Some of the best dryland sorghum I’ve ever grown was on a seeding rate of 21,000, and that produced a 136.5-bushel yield, which won the 2009 state yield contest. So, if you can yield that much on 21,000 seeds per acre in a good year, in a bad year, why plant much more than that?”

Blake said they can normally get three to fi ve heads per seed on that rate, if not more. He touts the crop’s fl exibility in the fi eld when it comes to the head- to-seed ratio.

“If you plant conservatively and let the sorghum be fl exible instead of forcing it to be thick, it will adjust if it needs to,” he said.

Their yield success has garnered sever- al awards from the National Sorghum Producers’ Annual Yield and Manage- ment Contest, winning fi rst place in the state no-till non-irrigated category fi ve times in the last six years.

Marketing options

The Tregellases market their sorghum locally, with some going to the Equity elevator and some to Texas Farm, a 33,500-head swine operation that uti- lizes sorghum in its feeding rations.

“The local markets provide us with bett er basis options,” said Janet Tregel- las, who oversees the marketing and accounting side of the family business. She agrees sorghum is a good fi t for the region.

“Here, we have to be cognizant of the area’s water situation, and in the long term, sorghum just makes more sense.”

All in the family

Tregellas Family Farms is a family af- fair. Blake and his wife Sarah are equal partners with his parents, Rocky and Janet. Each member of the partnership has specifi c responsibilities within the family business, but it is fair game when it comes to running equipment during harvest and planting.

“It takes all four of us,” said Rocky, who handles production matt ers alongside Blake while maintaining equipment and farm buildings.

Sarah keeps an eye on regulatory mat- ters, insurance and farm programs, as well as the marketing side of the busi- ness with Janet.

“It’s a great fi t,” Rocky said. “We are blessed to have one of the boys come back to the farm. You work for years to put a place together and you want to be able to pass that down.”

For Blake, coming back to the farm is a dream come true.

“Ever since I was a litt le kid, all I wanted to do was farm,” said Blake, who merged into the family business in 2009 after running his own custom spraying business for two years.

“While I was in college, I was still wondering if there would be enough opportunity for me to be a part of the family farm, and the further we went along, it just looked like it would make sense for me to come back and be part of the operation.

“This is ultimately what I wanted to do.”

"Here, we have to be cognizant of the area's water situation, and in the long term, sorghum just makes more sense."

SORGHUM Grower Fall 2011 23

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