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The goal of this project is to identify high-performing grain and forage sorghum varieties under organic management, and successfully integrate sorghum into existing organic cropping systems to expand grain and silage production in regions where sorghum is a significant commodity or has the potential to be a novel inclusion. To achieve this, we believe that it is crucial to conduct extensive research and outreach that delves into suitable cultivars, effective management practices, the benefits of improved soil health, production economics, and market opportunities. Our interdisciplinary team includes researchers from seven institutions across five states, including Texas A&M University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, Clemson University, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Prairie View A&M University, and the University of California. The specific objectives of this project are based on our interactions with stakeholders (discussed previously).The specific objectives of the project include:1. Improve sorghum hybrids for adaptation to organic production conditions.Identify sorghum parental lines with high levels of genetic resistance to biotic stress to common sorghum diseases and insects. Specific target traits include resistance or tolerance to anthracnose, grain weathering, and the sorghum aphid.Screen sorghum parental lines and hybrids for abiotic stress tolerances including but not limited to water stress (primarily post-flowering), and nutrient deficiency (low N). Evaluate forage and grain sorghum hybrids for productivity in organic production systems and assess if performance is correlated with conventional systems in sorghum growing regions with varying climates ranging from subtropical to semi-arid.2.Identify and release hybrids for organic grain and silage sorghum production (Leads: Rooney, Boyles, Perumal, and Atim).Development of genomic prediction to select sorghum genetics that are optimized for organic cropping systems.Develop agronomic management practices and tools for organic grain and silage production aimed at improving soil fertility, soil organic matter, soil health, and weed control.Investigate integrated cover cropping, manure, and tillage management practices for sorghum grain and silage production.Evaluate soil health and multifunctionality in organic sorghum production systems.Investigate the potential climate-smart benefits of organic sorghum.Develop precision weed management practices and tactics for organic sorghum systems.3. Assess the economic benefits of organic sorghum and its marketing potential as a combined climate-smart and organic commodity.Conduct an economic feasibility study of organic sorghum production as a rotational crop.Determine current and potential marketing opportunities and constraints for the expansion of organic sorghum production.4. Develop and implement educational programs promoting organic sorghum production.Establish a collaborative undergraduate research program on organic sorghum in partnership with land grant and minority institutions, growers, and industries.Equip students with team-oriented and leadership skills to help them engage with the wider private-public sector opportunities in the agricultural industry.Create educational materials in Spanish that support Hispanic growers in successfully transitioning to and producing organic sorghum.Develop experiential and transformative openly accessible digital curricula for farmers and Extension professionals and perform impact assessments to determine increases in knowledge, information use, and resulting outcomes.5. Develop farmer-oriented extension programs to assist established and transitioning producers to expand acreage, increase production, and avail new carbon credit opportunities.Develop extension programs to facilitate the dissemination of organic sorghum production strategies based on scientific research to sorghum producers.Organize annual "Women in Ag" workshops tailored to support female students, farmers, and entrepreneurs.Develop innovative extension programs that effectively communicate emerging opportunities in climate-smart agriculture and carbon credit market to organic sorghum producers.

Rooney, W.; Rajan, NI, .; Xue, QI, .; Feria Arroyo, TE, PA.; Ampim, PE, .; Perumal, RA, .; Pereira, EN, .; Bagavathiannan, MU, .; Howe, JU, .; Boyles, RI, .; Sharma, SU, .; Pineiro, JU, .; Antony Babu, SA, .; Zapata Raudale, SA, .; Whitney, BO, .; Abello, FR, .; Bell, JO, .; Strong Jr, RO, .; Atim, JA, .
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