How to Grow Sorghum from Seed? Sorghum is a versatile and drought-tolerant crop that can be grown in a variety of climates and soil types. It is a good source of food and fodder, and can also be used for making ethanol and biofuel. Sorghum is relatively easy to grow from seed, and in this article, we will show you how to do it.
Table of Contents
How to Grow Sorghum from Seed?
1. Choosing the Right Sorghum Seed
There are many different types of sorghum, and the one you choose will depend on your climate and soil type, as well as what you want to use the sorghum for. If you are growing sorghum for grain, then you will need to choose a variety that is high-yielding and has good grain quality. Forage sorghums are more tolerant of poor growing conditions, and are often used for livestock feed. Sweet sorghums are used for making syrup, and have high sugar content.
When buying sorghum seed, make sure that it is of good quality and that it has been stored properly. Seed that has been damaged by insects or fungi will not germinate well.
2. Preparing the Seedbed
Sorghum can be grown in a wide range of soil types, but it prefers well-drained soil with a neutral pH. If your soil is heavy or clayey, it will need to be amended with sand or other organic matter to improve drainage. Sorghum does not tolerate wet conditions, and will not do well in soils that are waterlogged.
The seedbed should be prepared to a fine tilth before planting. This can be done by plowing and harrowing the soil, or by using a rototiller.
3. Planting the Seed
Sorghum can be planted either by broadcast seeding or by planting in rows. If you are planting in rows, the seeds should be spaced about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart. If you are broadcast seeding, the rate should be about 45 kg (100 lb) per hectare (2.5 acres).
Sorghum is a warm-season crop, and the seeds will not germinate in cold soil. The soil temperature should be at least 21°C (70°F) before planting.
4. Caring for the Crop
Sorghum is a relatively drought-tolerant crop, but it will need to be watered regularly during the first few weeks after planting. Once the plants have established themselves, they will need less water.
Weeds are a common problem in sorghum fields, and they will compete with the crop for water and nutrients. Hand-weeding or mechanical cultivation can help to control the weed problem.
5. Harvesting the Sorghum
The sorghum crop is ready to harvest when the plants are dry and the grain is hard. This usually occurs about 120 days after planting.
The grain can be harvested by hand or with a combination. If you are harvesting by hand, the grain should be threshed to remove it from the plant.
The sorghum crop can be used for food, fodder, or fuel. It can also be processed into a variety of products, such as flour, syrup, or ethanol.