Sorghum - Varieties and Characteristics

1. Serena

  • M66 is a bushy semi-spreading plant with an indeterminate growth habit
  • It is a dual-purpose variety grown for both leaves and grain
  • The leaves and midribs are dark green
  • It flowers within 55-60 days
  • Flowers are purple with a white corolla
  • Matures within 80-90 days
  • The pods are green when young, turn bright red during grain filling and brown purple when dry
  • It has smooth creamy brown seeds having a small eye
  • The yields range from 800-1700 kg/ha or 320-680 kg/acre
  • M66 is tolerant to yellow mottle virus and scab moderately tolerant to septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew
  • It has some field tolerance to aphids and thrips.
  • M66 may mutate to various forms during the growing period

2. Seredo

  • The plant is of medium height (150-160cm).
  • It produces more outward spreading tillers and has thicker stem than Serena.
  • The head is large and oval at the base and tip
    Tillers mature later than the main stem.
  • Flowers in 65-77 days and matures in 110-120 days
  • Grain colour is brown with a testa and soft floury endosperm
  • Potential grain yield is 4000 kg/ha with average yields of 1000-2800kg/ha or 400-1,100 kg/acre
  • It is not cold tolerant and is cultivated in areas of 1300 to 1700m above sea level

3. KARI Mtama-1

  • The plant height ranges from 50 to 170cm tall depending on the altitude
  • It has one main erect tiller and sometimes has 2-3 straight tillers
  • Grain colour is white with a hard endosperm and has no testa
  • It flowers in 58-65 days and matures in 95-100 days
  • It has a potential yield of 4,000kg/ha with an average yield of 2500kg/ha or 1000 kg/acre
  • KARI Mtama-1 is highly tolerant to stalk borers and aphids
  • It recovers from drought very fast
  • It is highly palatable and sweet making it attractive to birds
  • In order to minimize the losses due to birds, a cluster of farmers should plant or cultivate the variety to increase the acreage in a location

4. Gadam

  • Semi-dwarf small plants that grow 100 – 130 cm tall with a very uniform plant population
  • Drought tolerant
  • Tolerant to stern borer and shoot fly
  • Seed rate 4kg per acre
  • Spacing 60cm x 20cm
  • Maturity 80 x 90 days
  • Optimal yield 17 – 20 bags per acre