The emergence of Sorghum bicolor seedlings and the dormancy status and survival of S. bicolor seeds buried in soil in the midwestern United States were studied from 1992 to 1995. Possible causes of seed mortality were also investigated. Emergence of seedlings from seeds buried in November averaged less than 2%, compared with 28% from seeds buried in March. Seeds showed little ability to survive winter, with more than 80% dying between November and March and virtually none surviving a second winter. Many seeds exhibited signs of cold damage. Further evidence of the effect of cold was the decreased mortality of seeds protected somewhat from the cold. The decline in the viability of seeds was modeled well by negative exponential curves with an exponent of between 0.011 and 0.016.
Nomenclature: Sorghum bicolor subsp. drummondii (Steudel) de Wet SORVU, shattercane.