Texas Sorghum Insider

June 28, 2012

Ken Davis' sorghum crop in Grandview shows potential for high-yielding sorghum in Central Texas this year.

Sorghum Seed Industry Gets Newly Converted Lines – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) is currently funding the re-instated Sorghum Conversion Project in conjunction with MMR Genetics (NuSeeds America) and USDA-ARS to make more of the world’s sorghum available to breeders through newly converted germplasm. The researchers selected 44 sources of germplasm grown around the world that could not be grown in North America and converted these plants into desirable traits that can be grown in the U.S. The 44 germplasms were released this May to seed companies around the nation so that they could begin their trek to provide these possibilities to producers by bringing new traits, new uses and new markets. The new material is currently available to public and private use institutions for the development of new hybrid lines. The next release, which is scheduled for May 2013, will feature 50 newly converted lines.

NSP Revamping Yield & Management Contest – National Sorghum Producers (NSP) have agreed to add two new divisions to their National sorghum yield and management contest. The two new categories that will be added to the competition will be double crop irrigated and double crop non-irrigated. This will allow producers who plant sorghum behind a previously harvested crop in the same crop year to compete on a more level playing field among their peers. Other categories include:  conventional-till irrigated and non-irrigated, no-till non-irrigated, mulch-till non-irrigated and reduced-till irrigated.Entry forms must be postmarked at least 30 days before harvest for “Regular Entry” of $65 or at least 10 days before harvest for “Express Entry” of $95. You must be a member of NSP to participate. Dues are $60 for a 1-year membership or $150 for a 3-year membership. For an entry form to the contest, please contact Morgan Newsom at morgan@texassorghum.org.

Onyx Black Sorghum – Dr. Bill Rooney of Texas A&M University has developed Onyx, a type of black sorghum that is a game changer in the sorghum food market. The new finding shows that the outer layer of the grain sorghum, also known as bran, is a black color which has a high concentration of anthocyanins which are antioxidants. Dr. Rooney noted to Sealy news that this line “would be suitable for the food market, you could grind this and turn it into flour for food use.”  The yield potential of this line is approximately 65-70 percent of a commercial grain hybrid. Dr. Rooney also noted the line was developed for a niche market-production and will not be widely grown or distributed. The line is currently in the licensing phase, so we expect to see it in the near future.

Japanese Trade Team Visits Texas – Last week, the U.S. Grains Council, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and Texas Grain Sorghum Producers hosted a team of five potential sorghum buyers from Japan while they toured Texas to learn about sorghum’s potential as a feed grain and the role it plays in human consumption. The group first toured Attebury Grain’s facility in Saginaw and then made a stop at Ken Davis’ operation to view sorghum fields near Grandview. The group then went on to Texas A&M University where they heard presentations on research being done with sorghum for food as well as toured the Universities research plots. Japan is the nation’s second largest importer of sorghum and our organizations continue to build on that relationship to sell them more grain.

Japanese Team Tours Attebury Facility in Saginaw.

Ken Davis' talks about production with the Japanese team at his sorghum field.