Posted on Dec 01, 2009
To develop efficient management practices aimed at improving productivity and profitability for any crop, it is essential to understand its growth, development, and nutrient uptake patterns. At the present time, the most comprehensive publication on sorghum growth and development was originally published 30 years ago (How a Sorghum Plants Develops) at Kansas State University with minor updates in 1993 (Vanderlip, 1993). This has served scientists, students, extension agents, and producers over many decades and has been extensively cited in the literature. However, significant changes in sorghum genetics and management practices make it necessary to update this important resource. In addition, the images depicting growth stages are not available in high-quality electronic form, limiting their dissemination and use in presentations and publications. Through this proposal we intend to update this publication with current hybrids and develop new, high-resolution electronic images for dissemination to producers, consultants, researchers, and extension agents. We will update this information for both grain sorghum and forage sorghum hybrids. Two grain sorghum hybrids (medium early and medium late) and two forage sorghum hybrids (standard and photoperiod sensitive) will be grown under currently recommended crop management practices. Destructive samples will be taken at 10-day intervals throughout the growing season for determination of dry matter partitioning (leaves, stems, seed and roots) and nutrient concentration in each component. This data will be used to develop growth curves and nutrient uptake (N, P, and K) curves and yield over the entire growing period of the crop. Similarly, at each development stage, images will be taken to illustrate key growth stages of both grain and forage sorghum. Overall, 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.