Jimmy Pasquier, a cereal farmer (wheat, barley, rapeseed) established in Boutigny-Prouais (Eure-et-Loir) since 2003, sought to diversify his production in the spring in response to the deleterious effects of climate change.
Natup, the cooperative with which he has been working for three years, then suggested that he sow sorghum, the fifth cereal (of African origin) in the world, with nearly 50 million hectares of production.
Encouraged by the agronomic advantages of this plant - it has the reputation of adapting well to drought and global warming thanks to a highly developed root system - the 40-year-old is trying the experiment by sowing 14 hectares of grain sorghum this year. Despite the poor sunshine last spring, the farmer is satisfied with this first season. The average yield of 77 tonnes / ha on his sandy loam soils turned out to be higher than the target he had initially set, around 65-70 tonnes / ha. And the former municipal councilor of Boutigny-Prouais was also seduced by the plant's ability to "break the cycle of weeds (
)" and by the reduced supply of inputs and phytosanitary products.
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The success of this first harvest encourages him to continue on this path.
Next year, he will sow 18 ha of sorghum.
This spring production compensates for the cultivation of peas, with which he says he is "not very satisfied for a long time".
This change of course ensures additional income, despite the drying costs inherent in this crop.
Especially since European demand for sorghum is growing strongly in Europe (+ 20% in 2020).
With 122,000 ha, France ranks second in Europe, behind Russia.
Apart from animal feed needs, this cereal - an alternative to gluten - is likely to be consumed more and more on our plates.