Environmental Influence on Grain Quality of White Sorghum.
Joni Griess, Univ of Nebraska, Kiesselbach Crops Research Rm. 202, Lincoln, NE 68583, United States of America, Stephen Mason, University of Nebraska, Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, PO Box 830915, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915, David Jackson, Department of Food Science & Tech., University of Nebraska, 143 Filley Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583, and Roger Elmore, Iowa State University, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011.
Normally quality characteristics associated with food grade grain sorghum is white grain and tan plant colors. Few studies have examined grain quality of commercially available food-grade grain sorghum hybrids in the U.S. Grain sorghum is an important crop in the Great Plains due to its high water and nutrient use efficiencies, and opportunities for contact production of food-grade sorghum is increasing. The main objective of this research was to determine the adaptation of food-grade sorghum hybrids to Nebraska production environments, and determine the effect of environment on grain quality of 12 commercial food-grade sorghums, three UNL experimental hybrids, and three red grain checks with different maturity classifications. In 2004 and 2005 a randomized complete block experiment with three replications was planted in six or seven environments, which included irrigated and dryland environments in eastern and south central Nebraska, and a low nitrogen environment in eastern Nebraska. Grain yield was measured and the grain quality parameters test weight, kernel weight, grain and flour color, starch viscosity analysis, true density, tangential abrasive dehulling device (TADD) removal, and starch, protein and oil concentrations. Grain yield and kernel weights varied greatly across environments, with extremely low yields of 1.4 Mg ha-1 in the low nitrogen environment , and high yields of up to 10.7 Mg ha-1 under irrigated conditions. Food-grade sorghum generally had lighter kernels, except for Pioneer 84Y00 which produced the highest yields in four environments. Hybrid differences for test weight and true density were small, while TADD removal differences were larger. On average, TADD values were similar between food-grade and check hybrids, but Macia, an African variety known for its superior quality, and the food-grade hybrids Asgrow Eclipse and Orbit had better values than other hybrids. Hybrid grade quality differences were important, but environmental differences were even more important.