Main Sorghum Research Station, Athwa
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Sorghum is the most important food and fodder crop of dry land agriculture. Sorghum grains are important as food and as livestock feed. The stem and foliage are used as a green fodder, hay, silage and pasture. The stems are also used as fuel and building material.
Sorghum is used in preparation of different types of food and unleavened bread is the most common food made from sorghum flour. The dough is sometimes fermented before the bread is prepared, and the grains boiled to make a porridge or gruel. It is also used in the preparation of biscuit. Beer is prepared from sorghum grain in many parts of Africa.
Though sorghum is known for its versatile use, hardiness, dependability, stability of yield and adaptability over wide range of climate, the edapho-climatic conditions in the sorghum growing areas of the world limit the crop production. The crop is often grown in poor soil soils by farmers who have little resources for control of moisture and purchase of fertilizers, insecticides and other inputs. Therefore, there is a need for the development of cultivars more adoptable to the adverse climatic conditions of the semi-arid tropics.
Sorghum is a self pollinating, diploid (2n=2x=20) with genome (1C=735 Mbp) about 25% the size of Sugarcane.
In the world, sorghum is cultivated over 42 million hectares in 98 countries of Africa, Asia,Oceamia and the Americas with an average yield of 1238 kg/ha. Nearly 80% of the cultivated area in the world lies in Asia and Africa.
In India, sorghum ranks third in area and production after rice and wheat. The crop accounts for nearly 52% of the area and 63% of production under millets with an area of 15.8 million hectare and a production of 11.85 million tones. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu and Madhya Pradesh are the major sorghum growing states. The area under sorghum cultivation in the country has remained more or less unstable in the last two decades. The production has registered a significant increase in the last decades, which is perceptible more during Kharif
In Gujarat, sorghum is grown as grain crop in South Gujarat, dual purpose in North Gujarat, Kutchh, Saurashtra and partly as fodder in dairy developed area which occupies on an average about 1.80 lakh hectares. The productivity in Kharif
is 1190 kg/ha and 1370 kg/ha, respectively. The Kharif
productivity is comparatively low due to inclusion of fodder sorghum. But it reached upto 1290 kg/ha if only grain area is taken into account. The gain in productivity is due to coverage under improved varieties, high yielding varieties and hybrids and due to adoption of economically viable farming technology by the farming community.
Mainly sorghum is grown for grain purpose and farmers are planting local land races namely; BP 53, SURAT 1 and GJ 108 which are suitable for late or semi-rabi planting. These varieties are late in maturity, poor yielder, susceptible to major pests and diseases with highly photo-thermo sensitive. South Gujarat is known for heavy rainfall area and therefore, the farmers are planting local sorghum by the middle of monsoon to avoid deterioration of grains due to grain mold. Due to poor productivity of local varieties, the return from this crop is very low as compared to other crops. Newly developed varieties, GJ 38 ,GJ 40 and GJ 42 have a high yielding potentiality as compared to locals and possess grain quality similar to locals. Variety GJ 38 and GJ 42 is moderately resistance to grain mold, suitable under high rainfall area. Hence, farmers now started cultivation of GJ 38, GJ 40 and GJ 42 for commercial cultivation and gradually the area under these high yielding varieties is increasing.
In this area sorghum is grown mainly for dual purpose . The rainfall in this area is erratic and very low. The local variety-Malvan is grown by the farmers by middle of monsoon which is poor yielder and highly photo-thermo sensitive, but for the efficient use of water for getting higher production new varieties GJ 39, GJ 40, GJ 41, GJ42, GFS 5 and CSV 21F have been accepted by the farmers which are not only high yielder but resistance to major pests and diseases and suitable under drought condition. In Kutchh, sorghum is becoming main source of fodder to feed the dairy cattle. The new variety GFS 4, which flowers within 45 days is accepted by the farmers. This variety is producing higher green and dry fodder in unit time and unit area. Variety GFS 5, showed good performance in North Gujarat as well as in Kutchh.
CSV 21F recently identified National variety gives 20% higher green and dry fodder yield and it contents very low HCN.MIDDLE GUJARAT
There is a fast development of dairy industry in middle Gujarat. To meet the fodder requirement, the farmers are planting sorghum GFS 3, GFS 4, S 1049, C 10-2 and GFS 5. Among these, GFS 5 gives higher bio-mass with high value added fodder. This variety possesses sweet and juicy stem and resistance to shoot fly, stem borer and leaf spot diseases. This variety also possessed good tillering as well as regeneration capacity suitable for one more cut.
This area comprising of whole Saurashtra including Bhal and Ghed area. The local variety Gundari is normally grown by farmers for fodder and grains in Ghed area. This variety is highly susceptible to leaf spot diseases and poor yielder both in grain as well as fodder. In Ghed area, sorghum is grown after getting the vapsa condition during closing of the monsoon. Similarly, in Bhal area, sorghum is grown as Rabi
sorghum. The sorghum is planted normally in the month of September-October and the most popular variety is Solapuri. For getting maximum production under residual moisture in Bhal and Ghed area, a suitable variety GJ 37 and GJ 39 have been developed and farmers have accepted these varieties for cultivation. Similarly, GFS 5 also found suitable for fodder purpose, which is resistance to shoot fly and stem borer and leaf spot diseases.