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Publication | 9 February 2021

Sorghum management systems and production technology around the globe

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is one of the most resilient crops grown in the tropical, subtropical, or temperate regions of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Americas. Globally, the top five worldwide sorghum producers are USA, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and India. Sorghum production area is declining and shifting to lower productivity regions or soil types; however, annual productivity gains continue in excess of 8.7 kg/ha due to genetics alone and up to 50 kg/ha when genetics and management combinations are considered. Growers prefer sorghum because of the low risk and reliable production especially in low-input production systems but often switch to cotton, maize, or soybean crops rather than intensify sorghum production. Further management (agronomic practices) and breeding efforts should be dedicated to increasing attainable yield and reduce the yield gap (potential minus actual yields). The latter can be achieved by improving the understanding of the complexity of the genotype (G) by environment (E) by management (M) interaction (G E M). A summary presenting best management (e.g., planting date, seeding depth, cultivar-/hybrid-type selection, row spacing, plant density, and crop rotations) of modern sorghum hybrid traits across environments could provide insights for yield improvement. This chapter provides an update on the state of the art on the sorghum management systems and production technology under diverse environments across the globe. We identify that sowing date and maturity group remain the most important management and genetic trait combinations for sorghum systems due to changes in production technologies, climate, and increased production in marginal areas of different continents.

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