How to Grow Sorghum in Texas

Overview

In the U.S., sorghum is grown in areas where the climate is too hot for growing corn. This includes most of Texas after the months of April and May. There are several varieties of sorghum grown in Texas. Some sorghum varieties are grown for wildlife forage, some for cattle and poultry feed and some for human consumption in the form of syrup. Texas is the second largest producer of sorghum in the U.S. and over three-million acres of sorghum are harvested annually in Texas.

Step 1

Test the soil in the area where the sorghum will be planted. This is done by consulting your Local County Agricultural Extension Office and finding out the best way to have the soil tested in your area. Once the soil is tested and the test report is sent to you, you will have an idea what amendments to add to the soil so the soil Ph and nutrient levels are appropriate for sorghum production. Also, the extension office will tell you when is the correct time for planting sorghum in your area because the soil temperature must be at least 65 degrees F, or the seed will not germinate properly and may rot in cool damp soil. In addition, the extension office will tell you what type of sorghum is most appropriate for your location.

Step 2

Clear the area where the sorghum will be planted of weeds and incorporate the recommended amendments into the soil at the rate recommended from your soil test. The amendments need to be worked into the top 3-4 inches of soil using a shovel, hoe, rake or mechanical means.

Step 3

Plant the sorghum seed at the recommended planting depth according to your soil. The average depth is 1 to 1 and 1/2 inch in depth in average garden soil and slightly deeper in light, sandy soil. Plant sorghum seeds about an inch and a half apart. Additional irrigation is usually not necessary if the area receives normal rainfall amounts. Ongoing cultivation to remove weeds is important for maximum grain yields. Another soil test during the season may be needed to be sure that fertilizer levels are adequate for maximum yields.

Things You'll Need

  • Sorghum seed
  • Soil amendments
  • Planting tool
  • Shovel
  • Soil test

References

  • TAMU: Syrup Sorghums for Texas
  • Purdue Edu: Grain Sorghum
  • Aggie Horticulture: Sorghum in Texas
Keywords: texas sorghum, grow texas sorghum, types of sorghum

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.