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Harvesting of sorghum

Harvesting of sorghum

Grain sorghum should be harvested as early as possible to minimize losses due to birds, insects, mold, and bad weather. Mature grain sorghum in the field contains about 30% moisture. At moisture levels higher than 25%, the seeds are too soft to withstand the threshing action. The ideal moisture content for harvesting grain sorghum is about 20%.

sorghum standabilitySorghum standability

Many factors influence a grain sorghums stalk's ability to stay erect until harvested. Most standability concerns develop when growers leave sorghum in the field until grain moisture is below 14%. Harvesting at 16% moisture or more prevents a significant amount of standability problems.



lodging due to stalk rotLodging of sorghum due to stalk rot    

Lodging is relatively easy to spot before it happens and is associated with stalk rots. Stalk rots show symptoms in the field prior to lodging taking place.Reddish discoloration inside the stalk, premature plant death, and a multitude of small black spots inside the stalk are the symptoms of stalk rots. When these symptoms are evident, farmers should consider early harvest to prevent damage from stalk rots.





When the crop matures the leaves turn yellow and present a dried up appearance. The grains are hard and firm. The crop is harvested by cutting the ear-heads first and the stalks later. The stalks (straw) are cut after a week, allowed to dry and then stacked.

tall sorghumHarvesting tall sorghum

In the case of tall varieties, the stems are cut at 10 to 15 cm above ground level and afterwards the ear-heads are separated. Then the straw is stacked.

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