Agronomy Field Day to feature sorghum production research, Oct. 9

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Exciting advances in sorghum research will be featured at the 2015 Agronomy Field Day on October 9 at the Agronomy North Farm, 2200 Kimball Ave. in Manhattan. Topics will range from increases in yield potential to the sugarcane aphid, cover crops, and more.

Higher yield potential remains the No. 1 priority for producers, and it’s the top priority for K-State sorghum breeders as well. In theory, grain sorghum should yield just as much as corn in Kansas, given the same amount of fertilizer and with substantially less water, according to Tesfaye Tesso, K-State sorghum breeder in Manhattan and one of the featured speakers at the field day.

In practice, this has not yet happened consistently. New experimental lines in advanced testing at K-State are about to change that, however, Tesso said. These advancements are thanks in large part to funding from the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission.

“Sorghum has high yield potential, much higher than what we’re getting now. We know that,” Tesso said. “We have been working to find new compatible parental lines that will be able to produce hybrids that can come closer to realizing sorghum’s yield potential. At the same time, we need to make sure any new line has an acceptable maturity range, good standability, drought tolerance, good head exsertion, and other necessary agronomic traits.”

Tesso will talk about the most recent results of this research into higher-yielding sorghum lines at the field day.

The full list of topics and K-State speakers:

  • Sorghum genetics and breeding – Tesfaye Tesso, Sorghum Breeder, and Geoffrey Morris, Sorghum Geneticist
  • Inzen sorghum, a tool for postemergence grass control in sorghum– Curtis Thompson, Weed Management Specialist
  • Heat and water stress sorghum physiology – Vara Prasad and Krishna Jagadish, Crop Physiologists
  • Sorghum in Kansas cropping systems – Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production Specialist
  • Sorghum response to cover crops in no-till systems – Kraig Roozeboom, Cropping Systems Agronomist
  • Update on sugarcane aphid in Kansas – Brian McCornack, Entomologist

The field day will begin with registration at 9 a.m. and wrap up at 1 p.m. Sessions include two concurrent one-hour tours in the morning, starting at 9:30, followed by a poster session during and after lunch.

In addition, there will be displays from commercial companies and K-State researchers in the shed near the registration area, along with the crop garden, forage garden, and weed garden for browsing. Extension specialists will be available to answer questions.

There is no charge to attend, and a complimentary lunch will be available. Preregistration is requested by October 6 so that a lunch count can be made. Those interested in attending can preregister by calling Troy Lynn Eckart at 785-532-5776. To preregister online, see:

On-site registration will also be available.

For more information, interested persons can contact Dorivar Ruiz Diaz at 785-532-6183 or