This one was a real find, maturing in 75 – 80 days from direct seeding. It is a heirloom cultivar from Central Asia. In Chinese, “ba-yi-qi” means “uniform 8-leaf”. The plant reach about 7′ in height and the leaves begin to turn a coppery brown when nearing maturity. This one was bred for use as a grain and is not suitable for syrup.
I found it to be extremely productive. After the initial harvest, the plants will continue to send up side shoots. If cut to the ground they will also grow back. This is called “ratooning”. The side shoots I left were still growing until the end of October. I was able to harvest a number of grain heads with seed in the dough stage.
This would probably be worth trying in a zone 4, as long as you have some summer heat!
CAUTION: Fresh sorghum leaves after frost can develop a toxicity to cloven-hoofed animals.
Seed Saving: Isolate sorghum varieties by 1/2 mile