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SUMMARY

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HIGH YIELD SORGHUM

HIGH YIELD SORGHUM PRODUCTION return to table of contents by Mark Jeschke, Ph.D., Agronomy Information Manager, and Nanticha Lutt, Agronomy Sciences Intern NATIONAL SORGHUM PRODUCERS YIELD CONTEST • The National Sorghum Producers (NSP) Yield Contest provides a benchmark for yields that are attainable under optimal conditions and management. • The NSP Yield Contest recognizes three national winners annually in each of seven production categories: »» Conventional-till irrigated »» Conventional-till non-irrigated »» Double crop irrigated »» Double crop non-irrigated »» Mulch-till non-irrigated »» No-till non-irrigated »» Reduced-till irrigated Conventional-till Irrigated Conventional-till Non-Irrigated 158 Double Crop Irrigated Double Crop Non-Irrigated Mulch-till Non-Irrigated No-till Non-Irrigated Reduced-till Irrigated 145.7 144.0 170.1 164.3 176.0 205.8 198.6 0 50 100 150 200 250 Yield (bu/acre) Figure 1. Average yield of NSP Yield Contest national winners in the seven contest categories, 2012-2015. Number of National Winners 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 49 11 All 26 >200 bu/acre Pioneer Dekalb Other Figure 2. Seed brand planted by NSP Yield Contest national winners and winners yielding above 200 bu/acre, 2012-2015. 5 5 2 HYBRID SELECTION • Selecting the right hybrid is likely the most important management decision of all those made by contest winners. • Maximizing yield requires matching hybrid characteristics with field attributes, such as moisture supplying capacity, insect and disease spectrum and intensity, maturity zone, residue cover, and even seedbed temperature. • Pioneer ® brand products were used in the majority of NSP Yield Contest national winners in 2012 to 2015 (Figure 2). • Several Pioneer ® brand sorghum hybrids have been national winners over the past four years, showcasing a diversity of product success (Table 1). • Three of these hybrids were used in multiple entries that achieved yields above 200 bu/acre (Table 2). Table 1. Pioneer ® brand sorghum hybrids planted by NSP Yield Contest national winners, 2012-2015. Hybrid National Winners 84G62 24 84P80 13 85Y40 5 84P72 3 83P17 1 83P99 1 86G32 1 87P06 1 Table 2. Yields above 200 bu/acre attained with Pioneer ® brand sorghum hybrids in the NSP Yield Contest, 2012-2015. 84G62 84P80 85Y40 233.39 245.94 237.93 215.00 210.09 209.68 210.85 210.71 209.07 207.98 206.92

eturn to table of contents SEEDING RATE • The majority of winning entries in the NSP Yield Contest seeded sorghum at a rate between 75,000 and 100,000 seeds/acre with some variation among categories (Figure 3). • Among all contest entries, a wide range of sorghum seeding rates were used, but the most common rates were between 40,000 and 120,000 seeds/acre (Figure 4). Conventional-till Irrigated Conventional-till Non-Irrigated Double Crop Irrigated Double Crop Non-Irrigated Mulch-till Non-Irrigated No-till Non-Irrigated Reduced-till Irrigated 82,475 76,539 80,145 79,503 76,125 86,470 96,611 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 Seeding Rate (seeds/acre) Figure 3. Average seeding rate of NSP Yield Contest national winners from 2012-2015 by category. Number of Entries 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 Seeding Rate (1,000 seeds/acre) Figure 4. Frequency of seeding rates used among all contest entries in the NSP Yield Contest, 2012-2015. ROW WIDTH • The most common row width in the NSP Yield Contest was 30-inch rows, which was used in 63% of contest entries (Figure 5). • 15-inch rows was the second most popular row width, accounting for 19% of entries. • Narrower row configurations (

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