New sorghum hybrids produce faster and with higher yields
Jul. 14, 2016
This precocity is important because it offers more security for the second crop. “During this period, the incidence of rain is lower and appears for only a few days. The earlier the hybrid matures, the more likely it is to escape droughts in early winter,” explained the researcher of Embrapa Corn and Sorghum (Minas Gerais), Cícero Beserra de Menezes, one of the professionals responsible for the development of the new grain hybrids.
Licensed companies that sell Embrapa seeds had taken note of the farmers’ demands and specifically requested research into such characteristics. The new cultivars of the grain sorghum, BRS 373 and BRS 380, were tested in Brazil's major farming regions and were consistently found to be the most productive. According to the researcher, to be competitive on the market, productivity must reach more than four tons per hectare.
The difference between the two cultivars, according to Menezes, is in their production cycle. BRS 373 has a flowering period of 60 days, a maturation time of 110 days, and plant height of 115cm. BRS 380 has a flowering period of 62 days, a maturation time of 115 days, and plant height of 125cm. Menezes explained that studies are underway to create a hybrid “with a flowering time of up to 55 days” in the next few years.
The researchers hope to develop short-stature plants with high yields that are resistant to drought and disease, similar to the Embrapa hybrids. The short stature is desirable for grain cultivars because soybean harvesters with an efficiency of up to 1.5m are used during harvest time.
"Regarding diseases, in several cases, what takes a product out of the market is the breaking of genetic resistance to fungal diseases,” Menezes stated. The new grain hybrids are resistant to anthracnose and the blotch, two major diseases that attack sorghum in Brazil.
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