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Challenges Zortman, who used older bins, had to take a few steps

to bring them to working order. An electrical check was required, and he said a couple of the bins had sweep au- gers, which they had to make sure were running correctly. Tey also repaired and filled cracks and cleaned out the storage bins. As for Zortman’s bags, storing the grain from Novem-

ber to February required some maintenance over nearly a four-month period. “You have to watch the bags on a regular basis,” Zort-

man said. “I drive by weekly and make sure there are no holes from wildlife or other causes and patch holes, so we don’t let in any moisture.” Zortman said a key thing to consider when bagging

is moisture level. He said it’s important the moisture is at a level his end user will take as that level will remain the same from bagging until he hauls it to the ethanol plant. For Wiethorn, a storage challenge he sees when deal-

ing with niche markets is his ability to separate out differ- ent types of sorghum.

“While it is a lot more economical to build larger bins,”

said Wiethorn, “growers should keep in mind that cer- tain niche markets want a certain type of milo, and it’s hard to isolate that grain if it’s all in one big bin.” Wiethorn said this challenge oſten presents more work,

but if a company is willing to pay a premium, it’s worth it. Williams said new bins are oſten better equipped to

handle sorghum and were a good fit on his Illinois farm. “Grain sorghum is so little and fits so tightly in the bin

you have to have the newer bins and better fans to keep optimal air circulation.”

Advantages While each of these farmers’ growing and market con-

ditions are different, each are taking proactive steps to utilize the markets around them in a way that will add more dollars to their bottom line while easing harvest pressure and having a convenient place to store their grain. “Even if you start out small,” Zortman said, “get your

feet wet, see what works best for your operation and see if it can work for you.”

Grain Sorghum BMR

Sorghum Sudangrass Forage Sorghum 800-299-9273 Hereford, Texas

2014_10_29GaylandWard_Half_Fall2014_v2.indd 1 SORGHUM Grower Fall 2014

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