Some recent reports indicate a possible advantage to planting grain sorghum in clumps versus the traditional seed drop method, so the question was how this system works locally.
David Ocker agreed to evaluate this planting alternative, so for the last two years a study was implemented on his farm in Nueces County. The goal was to evaluate planting of grain sorghum in clumps versus conventional seed drop method, while at the same time keeping the same plant population per acre.
Traditional sorghum seeding plates were altered by closing holes so that seed would be dropped in clumps rather than traditional even spacing. Grain sorghum was planted in clumps (5 to 6 plants per clump, with clumps spaced about 23 inches apart) within rows and conventionally in a randomized complete block design. Seeding rate in both cases was 61,256 seed per acre. Row space was 30 inches.
Results from this study suggest no real difference between treatments (i.e. clump planting versus conventional planting. The clump planting average yield was 3,683 pounds per acre; the yield for the conventional planting was 3,545 pounds per acre. Rainfall during the growing season was below normal with only 2.22 inches recorded. Results from 2010 were similar with no significant yield differences with above normal rainfall.