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Combine harvesting sorghum field along Blackbridge Road; near the York County Solid Waste Incinerator. (October 19, 2019 Photo; Submitted by Mike Spyker)

Sorghum harvest in York County

Mike Spyker noticed a combine harvesting the sorghum field near the York County Solid Waste Incinerator and submitted a few photos. My post, a week ago, about that sorghum field produced an unexpectedly high e-mail volume.

Combine harvesting sorghum field along Blackbridge Road; near the York County Solid Waste Incinerator. (October 19, 2019 Photo; Submitted by Mike Spyker)

Mike Spyker took the photos just before dusk on Saturday October 19, 2019. Undoubtedly the farmer harvested the sorghum to beat the total rain washout on Sunday. Mike noted others also stopped to watch the harvest.

Combine harvesting sorghum field along Blackbridge Road; near the York County Solid Waste Incinerator. (October 19, 2019 Photo; Submitted by Mike Spyker)

In my post of last week, I discovered The York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority is the owner of the land where those sorghum fields are located. I heard from Denise Feltenberger, who is Community Services Specialist with the York County Solid Waste Authority.

Denise indicated this is one of the fields the Authority leases to R&S Flinchbaugh, LLC for farming purposes. R&S Flinchbaugh, LLC operates from along Ducktown Road in Hellam Township; along with Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm Market.

Several readers wrote of the difference between grain sorghum and cane sorghum. Many remembered their parents planting small patches of cane sorghum, which are the tall varieties. Cane sorghum was used to make sorghum syrup. Several were in awe of homemade sorghum syrup; evidently a real delicacy. Helen Gibson remembered her parents made regular visits to an Amish roadside stand in Lancaster County to specifically purchase their homemade sorghum syrup.

The field along Blackbridge Road contained the shorter sorghum variety, which is grain sorghum. The following United States Department of Agriculture photo shows a handful of harvested grain sorghum.

Handful of harvested Grain Sorghum (USDA)

Bob Lentz recalled his grandparents always planted a small patch of sorghum on their 100-plus-acre farm. They popped it like popcorn; and called it pophum.

I did a Newspapers.com search on sorghum harvests in York County, and found an interesting York Daily Record article with photos; published November 7, 1978. The photo caption noted: Sorghum, with heads from six to 11 inches in height, used chiefly for livestock and bird mixtures feeds, as well as other uses, is shown being harvested on the Norman E. Waltersdorff farm, North Codorus Township, Spring Grove RD 5. The combine operator is Thomas, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Waltersdorff, who also is making farming his career. There are 14 acres of sorghum. There are also 350 acres in corn, 100 acres in soybeans and others for barley, wheat and hay.

Sorghum, with heads from six to 11 inches in height, used chiefly for livestock and bird mixtures feeds, as well as other uses, is shown being harvested on the Norman E. Waltersdorff farm, North Codorus Township, Spring Grove RD 5. The combine operator is Thomas, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Waltersdorff, who also is making farming his career. There are 14 acres of sorghum. There are also 350 acres in corn, 100 acres in soybeans and others for barley, wheat and hay. (Caption of photo appearing with a York Daily Record article, published November 7, 1978)

A reader submitted this LINK to a YouTube video of a sorghum harvest. When I questioned where she was from; she confirmed Texas. She responded; I’m spreading the word about the video because one of my friends is friends to the guy who used a drone for a video of this years sorghum harvest on their 5000-acre family farm in Texas.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos and illustrations in this post.

Related Links:

Sorghum fields near Small’s Codorus Mill
Flinchbaugh’s Orchard and Farm Market

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts