Grain sorghum is an important but minor rotational crop in Tennessee. Sorghum is more drought tolerant than either corn or soybeans, and provides another non-host crop for managing soybean cyst nematode and cotton reniform nematode populations. Grain sorghum can be used in a double-crop system following wheat or as a late-planted grain crop. Acreage has fluctuated widely in previous years, but has stabilized to between 10,000 to 30,000 acres on average. Average yields typically vary between 80-120 bushels per acre.
Grain sorghum is grown in less than a dozen Tennessee counties (production map). Most sorghum is grown in a no-till or conservation tillage system. Although sorghum is relatively drought tolerant, yields still depend on available moisture. Ongoing research includes evaluating herbicide tolerant cultivars as well as insect management regimes for improved yields.