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Sorghum bicolor.jpg
Scientific Classification
  • S. almum (Columbus grass)
  • S. bicolor (sorghum)
    • S. b. arundinaceum (common wild sorghum)
    • S. b. bicolor (grain sorghum)
    • S. b. drummondii (Sudangrass)
  • S. halepense (Johnsongrass)
  • S. propinquum (sorghum)

Sorghum is an annual grass that is extremely drought tolerant. It is one of the top cereal crops in the world along with wheat, rice, barley, and corn. It was harvested in ancient Egypt and Africa remains one of the biggest producers of sorghum. It is also grown extensively in southern Asia and America. Dwarf varieties have been cultivated that are designed for easy harvest, but its traditional form is about 6 feet tall. Traditional tall sorghums are still grown and their stalks are used for a variety of purposes.[1]

Body Design

This is the closed up picture of sorghum

Sorghum grows about 2 to 8 feet, also sometimes up to 15 feet (4.5m). [2] It has strong and ample rhizomes.[3] The pith, or central portion, a white waxy bloom, covers the stalk and leaves. Some portion of stalks tastes sweet and juicy. They are 2 inches wide and have leaves that are 2.5 inches long. 2 in a half long leave. Flower clusters, also known as panicles, produce about 800 to 3000 kernels. They may populate in a certain area loosely or densely. Every Sorghum seed has a different kind. For example; color, size, and shape. However, the size of it is smaller than wheat plants. It has 3 to 4 percent fat and 10 percent protein which supply little quantity of iron, calcium, and nicotinic acid.[4]

Life Cycle

  • Emergence

The first stage of sorghum development is emergence. It happens when the coleoptiles appear in the soils surface. Emergence usually occurs in 3 to 10 days after it has planted. During this period, the development of the plant depends on moisture, the temperature of the soil, and depth of the planting. Wet atmosphere causes the plants to have diseases. Time management is very important thus, germination happens in the warm temperature.

  • Three leaf stage

You can say that the three leaf stage has been started when you see the collars without dissection. This stage usually happens about after 10 days in the emergence process. This also depends a lot on the temperature. Moreover, the date should be significant to be considered because the plant has to grow as fast as it can. If poor weed control and slow plant growth happen in this stage, it can affectively cause abatement of yields because the plant is small. Large surface area of the leaf can be cut out since the soil surface is the growing point.

  • Five leaf stage

This stage is similar to a three leaf stage. You can say that this five leaf stage has been started when you see the collars without dissection of the plants. This stage usually happens about 3 weeks after emergence. At this stage the root system grows very fast. If it is assumed that the atmosphere and the condition of the environment are satisfactory, dry matter adds up at regular rate. Potential for the plant to grow is decided in this five leaf stage. If bad environment factor such as lack of nutrients, water, and insects always can remove yields.

  • Growing point differentiation

During this growing point differentiation stage, the growing point shifts from vegetative to reproductive. The total quantity of leaves is decided in this stage along with the head size. in order for full development, nutrient ingestion needs to be sufficient as nutrient and water. For the remainder of the season, it is hard to take care of sorghum because of weed control. This stage happens about 30 days after the emergence. In addition to that, the growing point differentiation stage takes one-third of from planting to physiological maturity.

  • Final Leaf Visible in Whorl

Showing about 80% of the total leaf, at this point, most of the leaves are expanded. The bottom part of 2 to 5 leaves of sorghum have been lost.

  • Boot Stage

During this boot stage, all leaves are grown up that presents light interception and maximum leaf area. The size of the head is full. The head is surrounded by the flag-leaf sheath. The real size of the head is decided in this stage. Fast growth and nutrient ingestion happens continuously. Stress and the bad environment always can cause the head not to grow into the full size and complete flowering.

  • Half Bloom

In a field, there are half of the plants which are in some stage of bloom. From the top of the head downward, flowering advances about 4 to 9 days. Almost half of the full dry weight of the plant at half-bloom has been accomplished. Between physiological maturity and planting, half bloom is two-thirds of the time. Poor head filling can be caused by severe moisture stress. For the condition in leaf area, plant size, the sorghum plant can commit by spreading the number of seeds and the weight of it.

  • Soft dough

In this stage, grain fill happens fast and grain continues to have dough-like consistency. In the half bloom stage and soft dough stage, half of the seed's dry weight has been added. Also for the remaining stage, lower leaves progress to mature 8 to 12 leaves.

  • Hard Dough

Three-fourths of the grain dry weight has been accomplished during this stage. At that time, nutrient ingestion is finally done. Before the grain compasses physiological maturity, severe moisture stress of an unsuitable freeze will cause a chaffy grain and light.

  • Physiological maturity

Absolute dry weight of the plant has appeared. On the opposite side of the kernel, the dark spot from the embryo has been moved in this stage. At physiological maturity ranging typical moisture from 25% to 35%, grain moisture builds upon the hybrid. During the harvest time, weather conditions and hybrid occurs the greatest in the time period.[5]


It is a world map that Sorghum can be found in percentage.

In the 40 degrees North and 40 degrees South of the equator, Sorghum is usually found where it is warm and hot. Sorghum not only requires hot conditions but also can be grown in a wide range of conditions. At altitudes of around 2300m, Sorghum can be found growing in pleasant regions. Throughout Sorghum’s life cycle, it can endure higher temperatures than any other crop. For Sorghum’s good growth, it requires the temperature about 26-30C. For the germination of the Sorghum seed, the minimum temperature is 7-10C. Sorghum is best suited for an avergage rainfall between 45-65cm(17 to 25 inches). Although Sorghum seems to have a lot of moisture, actually it is humid. Therefore, Sorghum can be found in the areas where you can’t predict the weather. [6]


Throughout the world, Sorghum is a food modicum for humans. For livestock in the United States, it is used basically as feed grain. Sorghum is very similar to corn for food use of grain. Sorghum grain is lower in vitamin A than corn, but it has more protein and fat. When you compare Sorghum to corn for food value, it is almost equal to corn ranging up to 90%. To livestock, the grain is acceptable, thus, the productivity is very limited. Because of phenolic and tannins seed compound from the plants, some kinds of sorghum are less acceptable to livestock. Before the animals eat sorghum, they need to crack it or rolled which improves the portion digested. [7] Except for the United States, all other countries use sorghum as a cereal food. Sorghum grain is a good food source and it is also used to make flatbreads, porridge, and pancakes. Also for sweetening food, sweet sorghum has provided its taste. Edible oil, starch, alcoholic beverages, and paste are produced by Sorghum grain. [8]


This is the growing sorghum crops for ethnol