Environment and Hybrid Influences on Food-Grade Sorghum Grain Yield and Hardness

Griess, J., Mason, S., Jackson, D., Galusha, T., Yaseen, M. and Pedersen, J.
(2010) Crop Science, 50 (4), 1480-1489


Few studies have examined grain quality of food-grade sorghum hybrids. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environment and hybrid on grain quality of commercially available food-grade sorghums. A randomized complete block experiment with three replications was planted in 12 environments, which included the 2004 and 2005 growing seasons and irrigated and dryland water regimes in eastern, central, and west central Nebraska and a dryland low-N environment in eastern Nebraska. Environment accounted for 5 to 140 times greater variation in measured parameters than hybrid, and the hybrid X environment interaction accounted for less than 2% of the total variation. Grain yield and kernel mass varied, with low yields of 1.4 Mg ha -1 and kernels weighing 9.5 g 1000 kernels -1 in the low-N 2004 environment, high grain yields of 10.5 Mg ha -1 under irrigated conditions in central Nebraska in 2005, and kernels weighing 27.8 g 1000 kernels -1 in the eastern Nebraska dryland 2005 environment. Harder grain was produced in 2005 than in 2004, with the west central and central 2005 environments having the lowest tangential abrasive dehulling device (TADD) removals of 14%. Non-food-grade hybrids produced higher grain yields and kernel mass than food-grade hybrids. Grain hardness was greater for non-food-grade and medium maturity hybrids when environmental means were lower (i.e., softer) but showed little or no difference in hardness when environmental means were high. Nebraska production environments have the capability to produce high quality food-grade sorghums for specific food uses to benefit both the producer and the food processor.