Herbicide tolerant sorghum that allows the over-the-top application of ALS chemistries to control post-emergent grasses and weeds are expanding on several fronts.
At Alta Seeds, researchers are building on traditionally bred tolerance to ALS herbicides pioneered at Kansas State University and licensed to DuPont, which developed the herbicide, Inzen.
The first variety for trial use was distributed in the spring of 2016. ADVG2250 is a bronze, medium maturity hybrid suitable for dryland and irrigated systems. It has displayed excellent drought tolerance, seedling vigor and threshability. The plant stands between 42 and 48 inches tall with a mid-bloom of 66 days.
Now, Avanta will contine the effort to breed the technology into varieties with different maturity dates to create more options for growers who have varying planting seasons, says Travis Kidd, technical development manager with Avanta.
The company will also begin working to incorporate the herbicide resistance into forage sorghums.
"We have things that are in the testing and development stage and pending registration," Kidd said. "This could be in commercial lines pretty fast."
One barrier to getting the trait out more widely is a reluctance on the part of Canada to approve the trait, even though it was developed by traditional breeding, not biotechnology. Canada does not grow sorghum but does import it from the United States.
Also new from Alta seed this year are Brachytic varieties that are shorter but leafier than traditional forage sorghums and have the advantage of offer more tonnage of silage or forum with less water use and less danger of lodging.
"The lower height is easier to harvest and more wind tolerant," Kidd said.
Three new Brachytic are bred for southwest Kansas and are being offered to growers.
AF7401 is a full-season variety, good for both silage and dry hay harvesting.
AF8301is a medium, non-BMR variety, ready for harvest in about 100 days. It has tremendous drought tolerance and yield potential.
AF7201 is a medium early variety ready for harvest about 90 to 95 days after emergence. It is BMR-6, provides excellent nutrition. It is suitable for dryland or limited irrigation and its short season makes it an excellent choice for double cropping.