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Grain Sorghum Yields on Upswing

2007 MU crop variety tests reveal promising performance.

Jerilyn Johnson

November 30, 2007

2 Min Read

Grain sorghum seems to be the forgotten crop in Missouri, as the number of acres remains very low when compared to other grain crops. The Missouri Agricultural Statistics Office estimates only about 105,000 acres were grown here this year with a projected statewide yield of 103 bushels per acre.

"Yields from our experiments were higher than that," says Howard Mason, University of Missouri crop variety testing research specialist. This year, the average yield for 32 hybrids tested at six locations was 122 bushels per acre.

Mason points out that weather offered challenges, as heavy spring rains in some regions made it hard to get the crop in the ground and off to a good start.

Yields in the Southeast Grain Sorghum Test averaged 138.2 bushels per acre, with a Pioneer 84G62 number coming in with the top yield for the trial at 153.9 bushels.

An NC+7R34 variety topped the Central/West region with a 134.5 bushels per acre yield, and the test averaged 114.1 bushels per acre. Jasper County recorded 30.4 inches of rainfall for the months of May through September, which is 7.8 inches above normal for the period. Yields at the other four Central/West locations were average or below average, partly because of poor stands and increased lodging.

The 2008 trials will mark the 50th year of grain sorghum testing for MU Variety Testing. "We will continue to serve producers throughout the Midwest by providing grain sorghum yield information as long as companies continue to produce new hybrids and evaluate existing ones," Mason says.

For complete test data, visit the Web site: agebb.missouri.edu/cropperf/vartest, or contact your local Extension office for a free copy of the report. Also, check out our report in the December issue of Missouri Ruralist.

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