Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Sweet sorghum production on fallow sugarcane fields in Louisiana Author
Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2013
Publication Date: April 8, 2013
Citation: Dalley, C.D. 2013. Sweet sorghum production on fallow sugarcane fields in Louisiana. Proceeding 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, April 7 - 11, 2013, New Orleans, LA. Technical Abstract: Sweet sorghum has been grown as a minor crop for syrup production for generations. Its potential as a biofuel feedstock, both through sugar and fiber production, has created interest in utilizing sweet sorghum as a crop that could be grown during the fallow year in the sugarcane cropping cycle in south Louisiana. Sweet sorghum could be planted on the raised beds used for growing sugarcane in Louisiana. It can be harvested with sugarcane equipment without delays for allowing the sorghum seed to mature. The obstacles to growing sweet sorghum in fallowed sugarcane fields are first, weed control would need to be adequate so not to impact future cane crops, second, little is known about the impact of sweet sorghum on the establishment of subsequent sugarcane crops, and third, managements practices, such as crop fertility and seeding rate need to be explored in order to maximize production of both sugars and fiber. Experiments have been and are being conducted to evaluate weed control options for sweet sorghum, to evaluate sugarcane establishment following planting, and to evaluate nitrogen fertilizer rates and sweet sorghum populations. Controlling weeds during sweet sorghum establishment is the most critical time period; afterwards sweet sorghum becomes competitive with developing weeds. Increasing nitrogen rates increases biomass production, but too high of fertility can lower Brix. Higher plant populations may also increase total biomass and Brix production.