Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center




Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
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Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center


Congressional Action Requested

An appropriation of $1,500,000 for FY09 is requested as a Special Grant through USDA CSREES to support this effort to enhance the overall productivity and value of U.S. sorghum and improve its value as a food, feed and bioenergy crop.


Funding above K-State’s original base of $137,000 will be shared equally among the partners, if the final appropriation is at least $836,000. Otherwise, the previous allocation formula will apply.
Description

The United States is a major producer of grain sorghum, with 6.7 million acres harvested in 2007. Despite the importance of this crop for farmers in drought prone environments and the many new opportunities for sorghum utilization in the bioenergy, bioproducts and food industries, particularly gluten-free foods, relatively little public or private resources are being invested in research on genetic improvement, production, or innovative use of the various types of sorghum. The trend towards less research and technology transfer efforts on sorghum threatens the economic stability of sorghum producers and fails to capitalize on the unique opportunities afforded by this crop.


Kansas State University initiated the Center for Sorghum Improvement in 2001. The Center’s coordinated interdisciplinary research efforts have led to the development of sorghum germplasm and parent lines with improved stalk quality, grain yield potential and drought tolerance. In 2006, these efforts were expanded to a regional scale with the development of the Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center (GPSIUC). The GPSIUC extends the interdisciplinary concept to include K-State, Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M University, integrating the combined expertise and resources of these three universities. The focus of the center is on genetic improvement, production systems to enhance water and nutrient use, innovative strategies to provide improved weed control, utilization of sorghum in human food products, animal feed, and as a bioenergy and industrial feedstock, plus marketing, and policy analysis in support of the US sorghum industry.
Background

Sorghum growers were surveyed nationally to identify their primary sorghum needs. Based in part on their responses, the following objectives have been established:



  • Develop new uses for sorghum in food and non-food applications, emphasizing the grain’s desirable characteristics, such as the absence of gluten and a low glycemic index.

  • Identify more efficient production strategies that will enhance water and nutrient use, particularly N, and provide new options for the control of weeds and pests, to increase sorghum yield and profits.

  • Expand research on sorghum as a bioenergy: crop uniquely adapted to drier regions of the US.

  • Provide market and policy analysis and develop educational programs for different sorghum-based products and production systems to increase profitability of all segments of the U.S. sorghum industry.


Relevance

Increased funding for FY09 will permit GPSIUC to expand existing research and education programs, particularly in genetic improvement and sorghum utilization. Sorghum is one of the most drought tolerant crops in the world, offering many potential advantages as a food, feed and bioenergy crop, and could be a key to sustaining viable rural economies in the Great Plains. The wide diversity of sorghum types (sweet, forage, silage, grain) offer tremendous potential for many uses, but need to be evaluated and have varieties developed for important food, feed and industrial uses. The absence of gluten in sorghum grain offers huge opportunities for the development of new food products aimed at the population suffering from gluten intolerance. Systems for production, harvesting, transportation, and storage of sorghum products, feedstocks, and co-products have to be developed to meet the needs of the bioenergy industry, while optimizing the use of our natural resources and protecting the environment. Expanded research on genetic improvement, production and usage will result in new technologies and information to increase grain and forage sorghum production and processing efficiencies, reduce costs through the production and processing chain, and improve the U.S. sorghum industry’s global competitiveness.



GREAT PLAINS SORGHUM IMPROVEMENT AND UTILIZATION CENTER

2007

Federal Initiative Accomplishments

Dr. David Mengel – Kansas State University
Purpose:
The Kansas Center for Sorghum Improvement was initiated in 2001 to pool and integrate research and extension resources for sorghum improvement, utilization, production and marketing located at Kansas State University. These efforts were regionalized in 2006 with the development of the Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center. Collaborative research programs have been developed with Texas Tech and Texas A&M Universities to:

  • Improve the yield potential, production efficiency, and food and feed value of sorghum, through plant breeding and genetics.

  • Develop new uses for sorghum in food and non-food applications, emphasizing the grain’s desirable characteristics such as the absence of gluten and low glycemic index.

  • Identify more efficient production strategies that will enhance water and nutrient use, particularly N, and provide new options for the control of weeds and pests, to increase sorghum yield and profits.

  • Explore the potential of sorghum as a bioenergy crop uniquely adapted to drier regions of the US.

  • Provide market and policy analysis and develop educational programs for different sorghum-based products and production systems to increase profitability of all segments of the U.S. sorghum industry.


Accomplishments/Impacts:

  • Based on an industry survey, producers identified controlling grassy weeds in sorghum as their #1 priority for research. Therefore, development of new technologies for controlling grassy weeds in sorghum has been a major activity of this project. Over 40 new germplasm lines or potential hybrid parent lines tolerant to the use of acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides were released to industry on research agreements by K-State.

  • Sorghum utilization research has focused on development of food-grade sorghum and new uses for these grains in the U.S. food, feed, and industrial markets. Examples of progress include the use of food grade white sorghum as the base ingredient to produce gluten free pasta using the extrusion process.

  • Due to heat and drought issues in the Great Plains, sorghum production is risky. The nutrient management program is developing crop sensor-based technology to allow deferring N fertilization decisions until 30-40 days after planting, when heat and drought impacts can be more readily evaluated, as a tool to increase returns on fertilizer investments.

  • Nearly 1,000 photoperiod sensitive exotic germplasm lines have been evaluated for both pre- and post flowering drought tolerance. From these lines, 37 were identified as pre-flowering drought tolerant and 21 as post-flowering drought tolerant. All are being moved into the breeding program.

  • A sorghum diversity germplasm panel has been assembled, and robust phenotypic data collected. Sequence characterization of sorghum genes involved in drought tolerance responses is underway along with phenotypic evaluation of a series of grain quality traits and preliminary screening of diverse sweet sorghum lines for bioenergy use. These projects will establish a platform for genomic-assisted sorghum improvement.




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