Sorghum smut is the black sooty degeneration of all the kernels of the sorghum ear. The ear is lost for feed in grain sorghum and smutted oars in forage result in lowered nutritive value and palatability of the fodder. It is estimated that 5-10 percent of the sorghum grown in South Dakota farmers will probably plant nearly 2,000,000 acres of sorghum, probably plant nearly 500,000 acres for grain. The grain loss from smut will probably fall between 250,000 and 500,000 bushels and the total loss at least a million bushels of feed. The loss is entirely and easily preventable. Treatment of every seed of sorghum planted in South Dakota in 1942 with a suitable disinfectant would reduce this loss to practically nil. Each pound of copper carbonate applied to sorghum seed can prevent the destruction by smut of at least 50 bushels of sorghum feed.
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South Dakota State College
© South Dakota State University
Buckhholtz, W.F., "Sorghum Smut Control by Seed Treatment" (1942). Agricultural Experiment Station Plant Pathology Pamphlets (1942-1962). 1.