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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Production Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352704

Research Project: Development of Productive, Profitable, and Sustainable Crop Production Systems for the Mid-South

Location: Crop Production Systems Research

Title: Grain sorghum yield components as influenced by hybrid, seeding date and irrigation

item Bruns, Herbert

Submitted to: Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2018
Publication Date: 2/7/2019
Citation: Bruns, H.A. 2019. Grain sorghum yield components as influenced by hybrid, seeding date and irrigation. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 2:180030.

Interpretive Summary: Very little information is available about double cropping grain sorghum behind wheat in the Mississippi Delta. A scientist at the Crop Production Systems Research Unit of the USDA-ARS facility in Stoneville, MS evaluated the potential of using grain sorghum as a drought tolerant option in a double-crop system behind wheat harvest instead of soybean by comparing yields of several hybrids seeded in June, and the usual seedings of sorghum made in May. Irrigation vs. no irrigation was included in the experiment. Irrigation had no benefit to yield on either seeding date. May seedings yielded more grain (>5168.3 kg ha-1 than June seedings (<4626.4 kg ha-1). Though June seedings yield less than May seedings, double-crop grain sorghum is a potential water saving crop that can be as profitable as double crop soybean given production without irrigations, reduced seed costs, and prices paid for the two crops.

Technical Abstract: Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) production retains some interest in the midsouth states as a rotation crop and a drought tolerant option in limited or non-irrigated cropping systems, thus helping conserve water resources. An experiment was conducted using four grain sorghum hybrids to measure the effects of irrigation vs. no irrigation plus May vs. June seeding dates on yield and yield components of the crop. The May seeding was the normal time of planting while the June seeding simulated double-cropping after wheat (Triticum asetivum L.) Furrow irrigation had no impact on seed yield at either seeding date. June seedings were lower (< 4626.4 kg ha-1) than May seedings (> 5168.3 kg ha-1). No differences among hybrids were observed between years of the two May seedings. However, all hybrid yields for June seedings in 2017 were significantly less than the 2016 crop. Heads ha-1 basically did not differ between years but May seedings produced more heads (> 134,167 heads ha-1) than June seedings (<118,504 heads ha-1). Despite reduced grain yields by June seedings, the lack of having to irrigate double-crop grain sorghum as opposed to having to irrigate double-crop soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) makes the former a viable option for water conservation and potential profit.