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US team breeds new sorghum types

US researchers recently released 40 varieties of early-flowering sorghum bred for use in cooler, more temperate areas.

The website of the American Society of Agronomy states that these early-flowering varieties of sorghum are critical for the spread of the crop to more new locations.

Researchers recently released 40 varieties of early-flowering sorghum bred for use in cooler, more temperate areas. These early-flowering varieties of sorghum are critical for the spread of the crop to more new locations. When planted in areas with long days and cold soils, typical sorghum crops face difficulties.

Sorghum has many benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment. It is a drought-tolerant crop. In many areas, it needs significantly less water than rice and corn. With fresh water becoming more limited for agriculture, crops such as sorghum may become more attractive to farmers. Sorghum has also been bred for a reduced need for herbicides and pesticides.

Some varieties of sorghum are used as livestock feed. These have protein content and quality comparable to more traditional protein sources, such as soybeans. They also contain high levels of micronutrients, such as zinc, iron and phosphorus.

[Source: American Society of Agronomy]

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