Climate change and persistent droughts in the southern regions are forcing farmers to look for alternative crops to grow, such as sorghum, told Tatiana Adamenko, head of the department of agrometeorology Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center to Agravery.
“A severe atmospheric drought, which is often combined with a ground drought during the active growing season of crops, has a probability of 90% in most parts of the Southern Steppe. The number of days with dry winds in the warm period (April-October) is 20-33 (in the coastal zone 3-11), so replacing traditional crops is extremely important,” the expert explains.
At first, they began to look closely at the cultivation of sorghum in the south, and then, large and medium agricultural companies from other regions began to think over it. They call sorghum “the camel of the desert among the plants”, it requires half the water than corn, so it can grow in the steppe and forest-steppe zones, giving high yields.
Ruslan Golub, the owner of TAK-Agro, says that sowing sorghum in the Odessa region began as an alternative to corn. Because of the heat, the corn in some places, only 8 c/ha of corn were harvested.
“Sorghum has now been introduced, we are collecting 4-4.5 t/ha and that is enough. We cannot supply an irrigation system there because there is no water source. We choose those crops that are suitable for the region, and are at least economically sound,” he says.
Sergey Kasyanov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KSG Agro, also adds that sorghum has become an excellent alternative to traditional crops in animal feed.
“The grain and green mass of sorghum is not inferior to corn in the energy value, and even surpass it in the amount of protein,” he noted.
Earlier it was reported that the profitability of sorghum production in Ukraine can be at least 200%.