Iowa is known for growing corn and soybeans. Not much grain sorghum is produced in the “tall corn state.” However, researchers at Iowa State University say sorghum can provide benefits when added to a corn-soybean crop rotation in Iowa.
Learn about the benefits of sorghum for soil, water and the atmosphere by tuning in to a free webinar 1 p.m. Oct. 20, hosted by Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and the Conservation Learning Group.
Grown in drier climate
You’ll see and hear a live conversation with Andy VanLoocke, associate professor of agronomy at ISU; postdoctoral ISU research associates Kate Glanville and Rojda (Guler) Aslan-Sungur; and ISU graduate student Josh Bendorf.
Grain sorghum, also called milo, is traditionally grown throughout the Sorghum Belt, which runs from South Dakota to southern Texas, primarily on dryland acres. Farmers in the U.S. planted 5.7 million acres of milo and harvested 365 million bushels in 2018.
At the Iowa State Sustainable Advanced Bioeconomy Research Farm located west of Ames, VanLoocke’s team is exploring the impacts of adding bioenergy crops like sorghum to the traditional crop rotation of corn and soybeans grown on most acres in Iowa. Taking a systems approach, the team is closely analyzing the carbon-nitrogen budget, or mass budget, of sorghum and the impacts on the soil, water and atmosphere.
“This field day and larger research project will take a closer look at how crop rotation, climate and weather affect the corn, soybeans and sorghum differently throughout the year. The goal is to calculate the mass budget and impact of incorporating energy biomass crops like sorghum in the rotation,” VanLoocke says.
Join in at 1 p.m. Oct. 20, click by visiting ISU’s Zoom page. Or call 312-626-6799 or 646-876-9923. The meeting ID is 914 1198 4892.
The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. Participants may be eligible for a certified crop adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the unit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.