Date of this Version
AgReport (Spring 2009): 12-13.
Weighing in on crop production in West Africa might seem a bit of a stretch for a K-State agronomist; however, that’s not the case for Scott Staggenborg. He recently returned from his second visit to West Africa, where he reviewed sorghum research and crop production.
During the research trip to Tombouctou (also spelled Timbuktu), a West African city near the Niger River, he joined Malian researchers in exploring opportunities to improve sorghum production and management. The research effort is supported by the International Sorghum and Millet Improvement Program (INTSORMIL).
Growing conditions in the West African region are remarkably similar to conditions in Kansas, the crop scientist said.
The challenge, Staggenborg said, is to characterize the soil, identify new sorghum varieties that will work well with the growing conditions, and develop a plan for managing plant diseases and pests native to the area.