WARSAW — Murphy-Brown LLC is expanding contracting opportunities for North Carolina farmers who grow grain sorghum for the 2012 growing season. The company has established eight delivery points at elevators and feed mills.
After a successful pilot program in 2011, Murphy-Brown is looking to significantly expand grain sorghum contracting in 2012 in order to increase the amount of grain it purchases locally. Growers interested in 2012 sorghum production should visit the company’s new web site http://www.mbgrain.com or contact David Hull at 910-610-5119 or email@example.com.
Murphy-Brown will pay 95 percent of harvest cash price of corn for sorghum delivered to select delivery points. Pricing can be locked in anytime during CBOT trading hours prior to December 1, 2012. A signed contract committing to deliver a set number of bushels to a specific delivery point is required.
Sorghum seed production was hit hard by drought last year. Farmers interested in growing sorghum should contact their seed seller as soon as possible in order to ensure they can get hybrids they want. Seed inventory is in very short supply from most companies.
Sorghum will be contracted for delivery at eight locations, including SGC Elevators in Bentonville, LaGrange, Bladenboro, Clinton, and Mount Olive, the Murphy-Brown Elevator in Nichols (SC), and Murphy-Brown Feed Mills in Laurinberg and Waverly (VA).
Grain sorghum has been a staple crop in many areas of the world for centuries, but in recent years has been planted only on limited acres in North Carolina. Researchers, agronomists and farmers are now taking a new look at grain sorghum production in North Carolina as a crop that can deliver consistent yields on marginal, sandy soils, and under drier conditions on better soils. Sorghum also delivers a number of crop rotation benefits for farmers looking to break weed and pest cycles.
“We are excited about sorghum production in North Carolina and the opportunities the crop presents for production on marginal lands and as a rotation crop.” said Josh Gaddy, Murphy-Brown agronomist. “We learned a great deal about sorghum production in North Carolina in the pilot program last year, and have used those results to develop our sorghum contracting program for the 2012 growing season,”
The company made some changes to the grain sorghum contracting program as a result of the learnings from 2011 pilot program, as well as input from area farmers, North Carolina State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Farmers are encouraged to harvest their grain sorghum crop earlier and at higher moisture levels rather than letting it dry in the field. Murphy-Brown has adjusted its drying charge scale and moisture penalties to benefit farmers who harvest the crop earlier.
Grain sorghum offers farmers more flexibility in planting dates, which also spreads out the harvest and delivery time frame. To manage this wider harvest window, Murphy-Brown will be contracting sorghum at elevators where widespread, less regular deliveries can be better managed. The company is also making investments in infrastructure and changes to delivery procedures to make grain deliveries faster and more efficient.
Murphy-Brown will be working with NCDA&CS, NC State, Extension, NCSGGA, the Sorghum Checkoff, and other partners to conduct additional research on topics like seeding rate, row spacing, and nitrogen application. Growers are also sharing their own production practices and experiences to improve production for the 2012 growing season. Sorghum production information is also available from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program at www.sorghumcheckoff.com
Murphy-Brown LLC is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Headquartered in Warsaw, N.C. Murphy-Brown is committed to producing quality products, preserving family farming and protecting the environment. For more information, visit www.murphybrownllc.com.