Sorghum Yield Contest Sees New Record

Pennsylvania Sorghum Grower Sets New Dryland Record of 245.86 BPA

Emily Unglesbee
By  Emily Unglesbee , DTN Staff Reporter
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A Pennsylvania sorghum grower set a U.S. record for dryland yields with a field that topped out at 245.86 bushels per acre, in the 2020 Sorghum Yield Contest. (DTN photo by Emily Unglesbee)

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- Pennsylvania isn't necessarily the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of sorghum fields, which are so well suited to the semi-arid regions of the Southern Great Plains.

But the crop once again proved its impressive versatility this year, after sorghum grower Ella Johnston, of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, set a new U.S. record for dryland sorghum production with a field that hit 245.86 bushels per acre (bpa), in the National Sorghum Producer's 2020 Sorghum Yield Contest. Johnston used a Pioneer seed variety, 84G62, on her field, which netted the contest's Bin Buster award.

The Sorghum Yield Contest, now in its 35th year, announced its slate of 2020 winners on Dec. 18. "This year demonstrates the resilience of our producers, and we are proud of those pushing boundaries and revealing the potential sorghum has in record-setting ways," said Kody Carson, a Texas sorghum grower and chairman of the NSP's board of directors, in a press release. "These producers have prospered with high yield achievements in addition to strengthened prices for sorghum -- a silver lining to the 2020 growing season -- and I congratulate our winners and look forward to next year."

The contest recognized seven categories of national winners, broken down by region, tillage, irrigation and sorghum type. Here are the first-place winners from each category:


-- 245.86 bpa, by Ella Johnston, of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, with Pioneer variety 84G62


-- 186.84 bpa, by Jerry and Sue Long of Long Farms, Washington County, Kansas, with Pioneer variety 84G62


-- 203.94 bpa, by Santino Santini, Jr., of Warren County, New Jersey, with Pioneer variety 84G62


-- 205.32 bpa, by David Knoll, of Charles Mix County, South Dakota, with Pioneer variety 89Y79


-- 200.71 bpa, by Jeffrey Barlieb, of Warren County, New Jersey, with Pioneer variety 84G62


-- 223.51 bpa, by Kimberly Gamble, of Kiowa County, Kansas, with Pioneer variety 84G62


-- 189.10 bpa, by Stephanie Santini of Warren County, New Jersey, with Sorghum Partners variety SP 33S40

To see a full list of national, state and county winners, visit the 2020 yield contest results here:….

See the NSP press release on the contest here:….

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Emily Unglesbee