SORGHUM CULTIVATION

Sorghum bicolor, Poaceae

Sorghum or Jowar is the most important food and fodder crop of dryland agriculture. It is originated in India and Africa and also said that its origin is Abyssinia and from there it was brought to USA and European countries.

Sorghumis mainly cultivated in the peninsular and central India. Major sorghum growing states  of india are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Other states also grow sorghum but primarily for fodder purpose.

Sorghum crop is primarily used as human food in various forms, such as roti or bhakri  or is cooked like rice. Sorghum grains are also malted, popped and several local preparations are made. Green and dried fodder is the most important roughage for feeding cattle throughout the country.

Varieties and Hybrids

M 35-1, CSH-1, CSH-9, Combine Kafir-60, CSV-13, CSV-15, Selection-3, SPV-84, Selection-3, Phule Yashoda, SPV-462 etc.

Seed varieties available in our website are as follows

Nirmal Suvarna NSRR 259

Jowar jyoti

Jowar jksh 22

Climate

Sorghum crop can withstand high temperature and drought, however, it is grown in arid and humid regions which requires temperature ranging between 15 0C to 30 0C and annual rainfall ranging from 400 to 1000 mm.

Soil

Sorghum is grown on a variety of soil types but the clayey loam soil rich in humus is found to be the most ideal soil. It requires pH 5.5 to 8.0. A good sorghum soil must have an efficient drainage facilities though, it may withstand water logging more than maize.

Land Preparation

Deep summer ploughing has to be done by using mould board plough soon after rabi crop is harvested and leaving the soil exposed to sun until onset of monsoon is a common practice. The land is ploughed twice by country plough during monsoon season. But the soil for grain crop should be pulverised for a fine tilth by harrowing and cross plankings. Then the field should be levelled before sowing for better distribution.

Season

It is grown in almost all the seasons. In Northern India, it is grown in kharif season but in Southern India the crop is grown during Rabi and Summer seasons. Kharif crop should be sown in the last week of June. Whereas rabi jowar is sown in the month of October to November.

Seed treatment

The seed treatment is done by using Thiram at the rate of 3g/kg of seed or sulphur at the rate of 5g/kg of seed. Then the seeds are dried and sown in the field.

Seed rate and Spacing

It requires 10-12 kg/acre for grain purpose and 40-50 kg/acre for fodder purpose. Spacing followed is 45*15 or 60*10cm.

Sowing

In Northern India, Sorghum is sown either by broadcast or sown in rows behind the plough. The seeds should be sown at the depth of 2-3cm.

Manures and Fertilizers

Sorghum is an exhaustive crop and it depletes soil fertility very fast, if proper care is not taken. The fertilizer doses differ from type to type and nature of crop to be grown e.g. local varieties need less quantity than hybrid ones. Similarly, irrigated crop requires higher doses than rainfed ones no matter whether it is a local or high yielding variety.

It requires Urea of 60-80kg/ha, 40-60 kg/ha of SSP and 20-40 kg/ha of MOP

Weed Management

Hand weeding and hoeing help in solving the weed problem but it is possible only during rabi and arid cropping seasons while rains do not permit the manual weeding or hoeing during kharif season. Application of herbicides like atrazine @ 0.5 kg a.i./ha controls weeds. These herbicides should be applied before emergence of sorghum seedlings.

Irrigation

To obtain good yield, proper irrigation has to be given at critical stages. Sorghum is a fairly drought resistant crop and it grows very well in areas receiving 50 cm well distributed rainfall but it cannot withstand water logging at any stage of crop growth. The most critical growth stages for irrigation are knee-height stage, flowering and grain filling stages at which the crop should be ensured for proper moisture conditions so that the crop does not suffer from moisture stress. It requires 1-3 irrigations in kharif season depending upon rainfall intensity.

Harvesting

Harvesting is done when the grains become hard and contain less than 25% moisture. Sickles are used for harvesting. The plants are cut from the base. Then the stalks are ties into bundles of required size. After 2-3 days, ear heads are removed. Later they are sundried for few days (2-3).

Yield

We can obtain grain yield of 25-35 quintals/ha and fodder yield of 150-170 quintals/ha.

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