Posted on Dec 01, 2010
Efficient management practices aimed at improving productivity and profitability for any crop require an adequate understanding of its growth, development, and nutrient uptake patterns. The most comprehensive publication on sorghum growth and development (How a Sorghum Plants Develops) has served scientists, students, extension agents, and producers over many decades and has been extensively cited in the literature. Significant changes in sorghum genetics and management practices and the need for high-quality electronic images make it necessary to update this important resource. This proposal is intended allow us to follow through with updating this publication with current hybrids and new, high-resolution electronic images for dissemination to producers, consultants, researchers, and extension agents.
This project was initiated in 2009 with the goal of generating developmental data and images for 2 grain sorghum and 2 forage sorghum hybrids. In 2009, we successfully tracked phenology, sampled for dry matter and nutrient partitioning, and photographed the two grain sorghum hybrids. Sample grinding and nutrient analysis is in process and will likely take much of the winter to complete. Two forage sorghum hybrids were planted in 2009 as well, but non-uniform stands made the initial planting unusable. A planter problem caused even worse stands in the second planting. As the season progressed, it became evident that sampling the 2 grain sorghum hybrids in a timely manner used all available resources anyway. The emphasis in the field in 2010 will be on the forage sorghum sampling. Grain sorghum plots will be planted for additional pictures to complement those taken in 2009 and for another year of tracking developmental stages. This second year also will be used to finish lab analysis, data summary, and development of the actual publication.
The new updated publication will be beneficial to people involved sorghum production, research, extension, and industry. Copies of this publication will be distributed to sorghum producers and researchers across the country. This publication will serve the mission of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to increase productivity of sorghum through education.