For years, Kansas has outpaced all other states as the top producer of grain sorghum, and growers have a resource to help keep it that way.
Kansas State University’s 2020 Kansas Performance Tests with Grain Sorghum Hybrids publication is now available online and features summaries of last year’s growing conditions, disease and insect considerations, and performance by hybrids in major production areas of the state. Growers can also compare hybrid yields with the previous two years and see the three-year average for each.
Other agronomic data provided include test weight, days of bloom time and percent of crop lodged. Lodging occurs when the plant falls over because of wet soils, high winds, or weakness due to stalk rots. Each table also provides details of the management of the testing location, including planting and harvest dates, fertilizer rates, tillage practices and the 2020 precipitation patterns as they compared to the long-term average.
“The main story about the 2020 grain sorghum crop was that it was not noteworthy,” said Jane Lingenfelser, coordinator of the Kansas Crop Performance Test program at K-State. “Growing conditions were extremely good and relatively free of diseases and pests. The quality of harvested grain was excellent.”
“It was just a really good year to produce grain sorghum in Kansas,” she said.
Lingenfelser, who coordinates crop variety tests on numerous crops across the state, said last year was the first year the university had tested igrowth sorghum hybrids from Advanta, noting that they are safe to spray with imidazoline (IMI) herbicides for post-emergent grass control.
“We also tested some experimental lines from Texas compared to popular hybrids for their efficacy and quality to make into wine for consumers in Asia,” she said, adding, “I just did the field testing, not the wine testing.”
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the Center for Sorghum Improvement at K-State are looking at new venues for marketing grain sorghum worldwide.
Information about several years’ worth of grain sorghum hybrid tests is available online through the K-State Department of Agronomy. Other crop performance test information is also available online or through local county or district extension offices.