Farmers expect strong milo crop

Jared Tucker: Portales News-Tribune Junior Jasso, a truck driver for Lieb Farms, waits for his truck to be filled with fresh-harvested grain sorghum Wednesday. The owners of the farm, Randy and Diane Lieb, plan to spend their 39th wedding anniversary harvesting this year’s record crop.

Jared Tucker

What’s the best way to spend your 39th wedding anniversary?

Harvesting a good milo crop, according to Dora farmers Randy and Diane Lieb, and Mother Nature’s heavy rain this season is getting all of the credit for that crop.

The Liebs said they had a record milo crop, and they will spend their wedding anniversary in the cabs of their Columbine harvesters.

“This is probably the best crop we’ve seen in about two years. I’d say this year’s crop is about 25 percent bigger than the past two years,” Randy Lieb said.

Curry County Extension Agent Stan Jones said the dryland milo crop in his county is so big and healthy, it looks like it’s been watered.

“This has been as good of a year for summer moisture as we’ve had in a long time. We’ve got some dryland milo that is so big it looks irrigated. It’s that good,” Jones said.

Roosevelt County Extension Agent Patrick Kircher said not only is the milo bigger and healthier this year, but also more mature than in the past several years.

Kircher echoed comments of Jones and Lieb about good moisture this year, and said though there were parts of the county that didn’t get good moisture, overall the area had much better moisture than previous years.

Jones said the benefits of such a big harvest this year are simple: When farmers make money, they spend money.

Randy Lieb said he’s excited about his 4,000-acre harvest, which he estimates will bring about 4,000 pounds of milo per acre. Lieb said it’s not just the crop that’s the best in some time — the prices this year are pretty impressive too.

Lieb plans to haul his milo to Clovis and Portales feedlots where the local market, he said, will pay $8.48 per 100 pounds of milo. That price increased from around $4 to $5 per 100 pounds from last year, he said. Lieb said he will get paid about $10 per 100 pounds when he hauls his milo to an ethanol plant in Levelland, Texas.