delicate sorghum halepense grass growing in field on sunny day

sorghum plant cultivation

The English name for sorghum

delicate sorghum halepense grass growing in field on sunny day

Sorghum (L) Moench

Sorghum family

Poaceae

botanical description of sorghum

Sorghum is a monocotyledonous plant, and it may be perennial or annual.

However, the varieties grown for the production of grain are annuals.
It is one of the single-stemmed plants, but it has a high ability to produce seedlings.

This characteristic varies between the cultivated varieties and is affected by the density, as it varies in the date of emergence of seedlings from one variety to another.

And when there is a long growing season

More than one crop of cultivated grains and first seedlings can be obtained, as is the case in Uganda, and the length of sorghum plants varies from 45 cm to 4 meters.

It is noted that the length of the secondary plant stem in short plants is longer than the mother plant, and the situation is reversed in tall plants, where the secondary plant stem is shorter than the mother plant.

The length of sorghum plants depends on the number of leaves and internodes

sorghum stalk

The thickness of the stem and the nature of its growth varies, ranging from 3-5 cm with a circumference of about 14.5 cm at the base of the stem,

The stems are often upright, but some stems tend to be slightly bent, and the bends may be near the base of the stem, which leads to an increase in the rate of sleep

The nature of the different varieties varies, it may be dry, juicy or hollow.

In some varieties, the inside of the plant may have a sweet taste or be tasteless, depending on the chemical composition of the stems of the plants.

sorghum plant leaves

The leaves in sorghum are spear-shaped, ranging from 7 to 24 leaves on the main stem, and the young leaves start at a right angle, and as the plants age, they tend and approach the horizontal position, get smaller and may fall off.

The leaves of sorghum plants range from 30-135 cm in length and 1.5-12 cm in width in the widest part of it. Animals and used as animal feed.

Wax spots may appear on the leaves that help reduce transpiration and water loss by evaporation, in addition to the rapid leaf roll mechanism during dry periods.

Panicle of sorghum

Panicle is a name given to the flower holder of sorghum plants and is found at the top of the plant.

The Panicle  grows upwards at the top of the plant, and pops up in the boosting stage.

The date of appearance of flowers depends on the Panicle , which affects the rate of pollination, the appearance of symptoms of syphilitic coin rot, the percentage of its moisture at maturity, and the rate of fungal infections and insect pests.

Sorghum Cereals

The formation of grains begins after fertilization, and the panicle needs 5-7 weeks to complete maturity and dryness, after passing through several stages:

  • The milky stage.
  • Soft dough phase.
  • Solid dough phase.

The stage of physiological maturation.

The physiological maturity is characterized by the appearance of the black layer, which facilitates the process of separating the grains from the panicle. The weight of 1000 fine corn kernels ranges from 20-50 grams, depending on the type grown.

Physiological features of sorghum plants

Sorghum plants are four-carbon plants, which gives them distinct abilities in the rate of photosynthesis, absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, bearing a higher temperature during the growing season, and making use of the available water with high efficiency.

Sorghum is also characterized by the following advantages.

Sorghum is one of the short-day plants, which leads to its cultivation in the summer season when the night tends to shorten, but all the varieties currently cultivated have adapted to the long day, due to scientific research that has reached to the production of plants that can withstand the long day.

  • Sorghum is characterized by stunted growth and decreased activity during dry periods, and growth and activity are replaced when the water content is restored to normal levels.
  • The amount of water needed to produce one kg of dry matter is considered low compared to maize, wheat and alfalfa.
  • It is also characterized by the wrapping of the leaves, the presence of a waxy layer, and the strength of the root system.

All of these characteristics distinguish sorghum that qualifies the crop to withstand environmental stresses such as drought, salinity and high temperatures, as well as producing a good crop.

Varieties of short-stem sorghum

Its stem length ranges about 140-150 cm. It is a dual purpose variety that is resistant to stem rot, downy mildew, and leaf spots.

The panicle is of medium size, bearing white grains surrounded by yellow-coloured glomes. It blooms 70-75 days after planting, and the grains mature 110-120 days from planting. An acre is given about 2,800 kilos.