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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Planting Date and Maturity on Juice Quality of Rio Sweet Sorghum1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 3, p. 389-390
    Received: Oct 2, 1971

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  1. Dempsey M. Broadhead2



Economical production of granulated sugar from immature sweet sorghum stalks would extend the milling period for several weeks each year.

‘Rio’ sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolorz (L.) Moench.] was planted April 1, May 1, and June 1 and was harvested in the flower, milk, dough, and ripe stages of maturity. Samples from each planting date and harvesting stage were stored openly on the ground for 0, 24, and 48 hours before milling. The juice was weighed and analyzed for Brix, sucrose, and purity to compare the effect of maturity and storage on juice quality.

Yield of stalks from the April 1 and June 1 plantings were similar but significantly lower than from the May 1 planting date. Stage of maturity had no effect on yield of stalks. Extraction generally decreased with maturity, whereas Brix and starch increased. Sucrose increased with maturity through the dough stage and purity increased from flower to milk stage.

Extraction and purity decreased during 24 hours in storage, and sucrose and starch decreased during 48 hours in storage. Sucrose inversion was highly significant in stored stalks harvested in the flower and milk stages, which resulted in a highly significant decrease in purity. Mature stalks showed little or no inversion during storage. Juice purity was similar for Rio stalks harvested in the milk, dough, and ripe stages of maturity and not stored. After 24 hours in storage purity of stalks harvested in the milk stage was significantly lower than that of those harvested in the dough and ripe stages.

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