Herbicide resistant sorghum varieties could be on the market in 2012, according to researchers at Kansas State University.

KSU has identified traits resistant to the acetolactate synthase (ALS) and Acetyl co-enzyme-A carboxylase (ACCase) herbicides in some sorghum varieties. The incorporation of these traits into cultivated sorghum would produce an ALS and ACCase resistant plant, allowing for higher yields and flexibility for producers.

“This new technology will allow producers outstanding weed control and flexibility in crop rotations,” said Kassim Al-Khatib, professor of agronomy at KSU. Al-Khatib says growers could see this new technology by 2012.

Due to a lack of funding, little has been done to produce sorghum varieties that are resistant to many common herbicides used on other crops. Because sorghum is grown in primarily dry regions, preplant herbicides can perform poorly or fail without adequate precipitation. There are herbicides that can be applied after the crop is established to control weeds but these products can potentially harm the crop as well.

“There is a considerable need for over-the-top grass control in sorghum,” said Al-Khatib.

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is funding test plots and trials to demonstrate proper management techniques on successful methods of using and protecting the over-the-top technology.

USCP board research committee chair and sorghum producer Earl Roemer from Healy, Kan. said producers are in need of more crop protection options in order to see an increase in both yield and acres.

“ALS and ACCase resistant sorghum hybrids will provide an over-the-top protection technology that was not available to me or my fellow sorghum producers before.”

For more information about the USCP and other research projects please visit www.sorghumcheckoff.com.