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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Desiccation and Germination of Grain Sorghum as Affected by Glufosinate


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 91 No. 3, p. 373-376
    Received: Dec 22, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): s-senseman@tamu.edu
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  1. Rodney W. Bovey ,
  2. Jeffery A. Dahlberg,
  3. Pablo Madera-Torres,
  4. Scott A. Senseman and
  5. Frederick R. Miller
  1. Dep. of Rangeland Ecology and Management, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843;



Preharvest desiccants are needed to reduce moisture content of grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] for earlier harvest to preserve seed quality and quantity. Objectives of this study were (i) to examine the desiccant activity of glufosinate [2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl)butanoic acid] applied at several rates to grain sorghum at different seed moisture levels in contrasting environments and (ii) to determine the effect of glufosinate on germination and seedling growth of the treated crop. The soil at College Station (east-central Texas), was a Ships clay (very-fine, mixed, active, thermic, Chromic Hapludert ); at Mayagöez, PR, a Coto clay (very-fine, kaolinitic, isohyperthermic Typic Hapludox). Glufosinate was evaluated because of its contact herbicidal properties and limited systemic activity. In both Texas and Puerto Rico, glufosinate was applied at 0,0.56, 1.1, or 2.2 kg ha−1 to grain sorghum. Leaves and seed were sampled at 0,1,2, and 3 wk after treatment (WAT) for grain and leaf moisture. Seed was collected at 2 and 3 WAT for germination and growth studies. Glufosinate at all three treatment rates dried seed of the grain sorghum hybrid ATx638/Tx2783 in Texas from >350 g kg−1 grain moisture at application to a storable moisture of <120 g kg−1 at 2 WAT, at which time untreated grain moisture was 150 g kg−1. Glufosinate rate did not affect grain moisture except at the high glufosinate rate at 1 WAT. Leaf moisture reduction was glufosinate rate-dependent, but all treatments significantly reduced leaf moisture content at 1 WAT. Germination and seedling growth were not affected by glufosinate treatment. Grain desiccation rate under a tropical environment (Puerto Rico) was slightly slower than in Texas, but leaf moisture reduction was rapid and reached <300 g kg−1 by 1 WAT from initial leaf moisture contents of 500 or 770 g kg−1. Germination was not adversely affected by glufosinate.

Joint contribution of the Texas Agric. Exp. Stn. and the USDA-ARS Tropical Agric. Res. Stn., Mayagöez, PR.

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