On-the-Ground Updates

Brazilian northeast has the proper biome to grow drought-tolerant cultivars. Sorghum shows you how.

Caio Alves
Published Sep 17, 2020
Sorghum is amidst the most planted cereals in the globe, standing out for its greater tolerance to water stress when compared to other crops. Generally, the cultivation of this grain is carried out in later times, when the expected rainfall volume is not sufficient for the cultivation of corn.

Because it is more resistant to lack of rain, sorghum is one of the crops recommended for the Northeast region of Brazil. Embrapa highlighted the benefits of this crop, advising why it is one of the most resistant to water deficit.

As its tolerance mechanisms, such as the deeper and branched root system it makes it more efficient in extracting water from the soil and very drought-tolerant if compared to main cereal crops, alongside with millet, and can be fully adapted in the Northeast. This cereal comes from Africa, with a very similar climate, or even more drastic, than the Northeastern semiarid.

The experience in the field proved the qualities of two sorghum cultivars and the crop's resistance to water deficit. At Fazenda Tijuca, located in Beberibe, municipality of Ceará, BRS Ponta Negra silage sorghum and BRS 373 grain sorghum crops are grown. BRS 373 sorghum is grown in consortium with the cashew crop. And Ponta Negra is used for silage, which feeds dairy cattle.

One of Tijuca's activities consists of the consortium of dwarf cashew in organic cultivation with BRS 373 sorghum. The cultivated area is 350 hectares. Biological pest control is carried out using biopesticide technology based on the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

In addition to the production of chestnuts and the use of cashew (peduncle) for the production of juice, the 350 ha integrated area, enables the production of grains and fodder to supplement the dairy herd, allowing 7 thousand liters of milk to be produced per day.

In another crop of the property, the exclusive cultivation of Sorghum BRS Ponta Negra is carried out, in an area of ​​400 hectares. In this area, Bt is also used for pest control.
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