Dale is a mid-season sweet sorghum developed at the US Sugar Crops Field Station in Meridian, Mississippi, and released around 1970. 10-12' tall plants with thick, dense stalks with a high sugar content. Feed the stalks through a press and cook down the sugary juice to make a sweet, molasses-like sorghum syrup for your biscuits and pancakes.
This variety was bred to be leaf anthracnose and stalk rot resistant by crossing Tracy Sorghum with a more resistant strain (PI 152857) collected in Sudan in 1945. Tracy was a selection from a cross of White African Sorghum and Sumac Sorghum (both from South Africa).
Dale was named for Samuel Dale (1772 – 1841).
Days to maturity: 100-120
Seeds per pack: 350
Germination rate: 93% on 02/07/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct seed 1/4" into well-drained soil once the danger of frost has passed. Thin to 8"-12" in row, rows 24-30" apart. Needs full sun and thrives in warm climates. Best to harvest cane for molasses when seed head has turned from the milk stage to soft dough and the external color from green to a purplish-red.
Seed keeping notes
While sorghum is generally self pollinating, people concerned with unwanted cross pollination should isolate various varieties of S. bicolor (including Johnson grass) by 990 feet. Alternatively, you can plant your different sorghums closer together and bag the plants' tassels when they emerge with weather resistant corn tassel bags, or with paper bags in drier climates. Allowing the seed heads to reach the hard dough stage is best when harvesting for seed.