Sorghum Hybrids

(Including Inbred Lines)

Special Requirements and Standards

Application Due Date

Field inspection applications are due in the ACIA office within 45 days of planting a crop or at least 30 days before head emergence.

Classes Recognized

Foundation inbred parent lines and hybrids and Certified commercial hybrids are recognized in these standards.

Commercial hybrids are planted for uses other than seed production and must represent a specific combination of parent lines.

Seedstock Eligibility

Certified commercial hybrids shall be produced from seedstocks approved as eligible by ACIA.

General Field Standards

Land History

Land planted for certified seed production shall not have grown any sorghum, sudangrass or broomcorn during the previous year.

Field Inspection

Certified seed fields of foundation seed stocks and commercial hybrids shall be inspected at least three times. The seed parent shall be inspected twice, during early and full bloom stages, and the field shall be inspected once before harvest but after the seed begins to assume mature color.

Unit of Certification

The entire field of inbred, foundation hybrid or commercial hybrid production must be eligible for certification and shall be inspected. 


Isolation is important in sorghum seed production because natural crossing may occur among and between all varieties and with Johnsongrass.

Foundation seed fields: shall be at least 2,640 feet distant from any other sorghum variety pollen source or from fields of the same variety that do not meet certification purity requirements. In no case shall the isolation distance be less than that required for commercial hybrid production.

Commercial hybrid seed fields: The seed parent shall be at least 2,640 feet distant from any of the following situations -

1. Any other variety having the same genetic height as the pollinator parent and from any sorghum having a different chromosome number.

2. Any forage sorghum variety and from any grain sorghum variety having a different genetic constitution for height but with the same chromosome number as the certified hybrid.

3. Grass sorghum and broomcorn having the same chromosome number.

Modification of isolation distance: 

1. Planting of additional border rows of pollinator may reduce the isolation requirement to a minimum of 1,320 feet ONLY when the contaminating pollen will produce a hybrid that is similar in all important characteristics to the hybrid being certified. Two pollinator rows buffer shall be required for each 66-foot reduction in isolation distance and shall apply to all sides of the seed field that are exposed (opposite or diagonally) to the contaminating source. To be considered a pollinator row, the line must be producing pollen during the entire time that 5% or more of the female plants are in bloom.

2. The existence of a different blooming period in a contaminating field compared to a certified seed field may be justification for modifying the isolation requirement, at the discretion of the certifying agency, provided that the sum of the percentages of blooming plants in the seed parent plus the contaminating pollen source does not exceed 5% when more than 1% of the plants in either field are in bloom.

Specific Field Standards

Pollen Shedding by the Seed Parent

A seed field shall be ineligible for certification if more than the following incidence of female seed parent heads are found to be fertile at any one inspection:

Foundation parent - 1:3,000
Commercial hybrid parent - 1:2,000


The presence of flowering Johnsongrass within a seed field or within the required isolation area shall be cause for rejecting a field for certification purposes.

Specific Field Standards

Field Factor - Maximum Frequency of Heads or Plants Allowed

Foundation Seed at Bloom

Foundation Seed at Maturity

Hybrid Seed Production

Other varietes and off-types









Head smut
1 head/acre
kernel smut

Seed Standards for Hybrid Sorghum

Seed Factor Standard - Percentage (%)



Pure Seed (Minimum)
Inert Matter (Maximum)
Weed seeds (Maximum)
Noxious weeds
Total other crops seeds (Maximum)

Other varieties

Other crop kinds





Germination (Minimum)
Note: Inert matter shall not include more than 0.5% of material other than seed fragments of the variety being certified


The results of a pre-certification grow-out and inspection for genetic purity shall be furnished upon request by ACIA. ACIA retains the right to approve the source of grow-out results.