Thursday, June 13, 2013

Introduction of sorghum in United States

The first grain sorghums introduce into the New World came by way of slaves imported from West Africa. These introductions were probably used as ship’s stores for the voyage across the Atlantic.

It was suggested that the first sweet sorghum introduction was Chinese Amber which was introduced into the United States from France in 1853.

The credit of first growing sweet sorghum in the United States belongs to a nurseryman, William R. Prince, of New York. In 1855 the United States Commissioner of Patents distributed a small quantity of seed secured in France and the next year the first wide distribution of seeds was made by the United States government.

In 1857, about 16 cultivars of sorghum were brought to the United States from Natal, South Africa by Leonard Wray.

Early sorghum development in North America involved natural hybridization. Deliberate hybridization followed soon thereafter, with some of the earliest crosses being made in 1914.

The first improved cultivar of sorghum is attributed to H. Willets Smith in 1916 who farmed near Garden City, Kansas. Smith selected uniform strains of sorghum from a chance hybridization of kafir and milo types.
Introduction of sorghum in United States
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