The National Sorghum Foundation, in a joint effort with MMR Genetics (NuSeed America), USDA Agricultural Research Service and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, recently released 49 sources of sorghum germplasm to the public from the reinstated Sorghum Conversion Program.

These new lines of germplasm were converted to early-maturing, reduced-height derivatives from sources in Ethiopia, Sudan and Mali and contain new desirable traits. This is the third in a series of four releases of photoperiod insensitive material, which can be evaluated for improved traits to benefit farmers and end-users in the sorghum industry.

The Sorghum Conversion Program is a reinstatement of the original conversion program started in 1965 by USDA-ARS and Texas A&M University. Like the original, results from the new program allow sorghum breeders to access select sorghum genes for insect and disease resistance, drought tolerance, food quality and other traits contained in exotic sorghums to improve commercially available varieties.

This converted material is currently available to both public and private institutions for the development of new hybrid lines of sorghum in order to fulfill production and market demands. Requests for seed should be directed to Bruce Maunder at the National Sorghum Foundation.