Grain sorghum may prove to be an attractive alternative for cotton producers on the Texas High Plains whose cotton crops fell victim to recent storms and hail. The situation has many growers looking at alternative crops such as grain sorghum to replant in their fields.

Grain sorghum can offer long-term benefits to producers who traditionally grow cotton. Research conducted near Brownfield, Texas, by Dr. Dan Krieg, agronomist at Texas Tech University, indicates that a crop rotation consisting of grain sorghum and cotton can increase cotton yields the following season by at least 10 percent. Krieg also has found that rotating sorghum with cotton can have positive impacts on sorghum yields.

Dr. Jeff Dahlberg, National Grain Sorghum Producers (NGSP) research director says producers can help maximize yields by following recommended practices such as choosing appropriate hybrids for maturity and planting based on “plants per acre” rather than “pounds of seed per acre.”

Dahlberg also says grain sorghum's “water sipping” characteristics could prove to be beneficial later this summer if moisture supplies tighten.