Drought intensifies on the high plains and sorghum still produces as harvest nears conclusion. We look to the future in this week’s sorghum update. 2020 has seen all sorts of wild events, including limited precipitation since late summer. That drop in precipitation brought moderate drop throughout much of our region, but thanks to the ongoing research to enhance sorghum trait technology, a droppage in drips doesn’t have to mean a droppage in yield.
DropXL Sorghum is a state of Kansas effort managed by the Collaborative Sorghum Investment Program, CSIP. The Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, together with United Sorghum Checkoff Program and KSU, founded CSIP to advance demand, yield, and value for grain sorghum, working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and a myriad of industry partners for the benefit of sorghum farmers throughout the country. As a key focus for CSIP, DropXL Sorghum is an exciting trait technology package working to provide farmers with the tools to achieve higher productivity under water limitations.
Currently, the DropXL initiative is identifying the best trait combinations for water productivity across Kansas. It’s also locating genetic markers for those traits in field trials to develop cutting-edge trait donor lines in order to expand water-optimized sorghum hybrids. Data suggests that DropXL tech will conserve soil moisture and increases grain yield by 4% in some Kansas environments. That’s big news for sorghum’s role in rotation systems across the Ogallala Aquifer. Completion of DropXL Sorghum is expected in 2024.