GSA, Davis College set to host 2026 Global Sorghum Conference in Lubbock
By: Norman Martin
The Global Sorghum Association announced this month that Texas Tech University, along with members of its Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, will host the 3rd Global Sorghum Conference. The international meeting is scheduled for Sept. 14-18 in 2026.
“We're extremely excited to host the 3rd Global Sorghum Conference in Lubbock in 2026,” said Davis College Dean Clint Krehbiel. “This conference will bring together scientists, industry partners, producers, and consumers around the opportunities sorghum provides to address global food security through collaborative efforts that span geography to increase resiliency and sustainability.”
The conference will build on the successes of this year's ‘Sorghum in the 21st Century' Global Sorghum Conference in Montpellier, France. In 2026, the conference will aim to foster interaction between academia, government and national programs, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The first global sorghum conference was held in 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
As host, Texas Tech leaders plan to catalyze new research and collaboration on high-priority topics and strengthen the relationship between producers and researchers through local farm tours. In addition, the university intends to use the next conference as an integral platform for cooperating with the sorghum association to promote the international importance of sorghum.
"The GSA is very excited about having the next sorghum congress in Texas, which is surely an important cradle of sorghum breeding,” said Global Sorghum Association Chair Jurandir Magalhaes.
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the state ranks second in the U.S. for sorghum production with typically about 2 million acres planted. Due to extreme drought in 2022, the number was much lower: 1.45 million acres planted, 950,000 acres harvested, and 50.35 million bushels produced for Texas, reports the United Sorghum Checkoff Program in Lubbock.
Sorghum is used around the world as a forage for livestock, as well as a popular choice in the consumer food industry and other emerging markets, including energy. The crop is known for its ability to convert sunlight into chemical energy and its efficient use of water, both of which matter for crops growing in Texas.
Davis College has a strong, recent history of sorghum research. In 2022, Texas Tech took the lead in one of the largest projects ever funded by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. Krishna Jagadish, the Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Plant & Soil Science, received $1.6 million in funding in partnership with Texas A&M University, Kansas State University, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service locations in Lubbock and Manhattan, Kansas, and industry partners. Haydee Laza, an assistant professor of plant physiology, is a co-investigator on the project as well.
“The project brings together major public sorghum improvement programs in the U.S.,” Jagadish said. “The trans-disciplinary team aims to achieve the project goals by integrating agronomy, crop physiology, breeding, machine learning and crop and climate modeling.”
Over the course of the project researchers, led by Jagadish, hope to develop trait-based ideotype sorghum hybrids specifically targeted to thrive in water-deficient areas and in areas considered favorable for growing sorghum. The five-year incorporates a number of students seeking both master's and doctoral degrees, giving it the added benefit of helping train the next generation of leaders in the sorghum industry.
CONTACT: Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or Clint.Krehbiel@ttu.edu
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Editor: Norman Martin
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