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Sorghum, Adapting for the Future

SICNA 2024

Mark your calendar! The Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America (SICNA) is slated to be held Tuesday – Wednesday, March 26-27, 2024, at the a location soon to be determined.

The 2024 SICNA Board members are Chuck Cielencki, Laura Mayor, Bonnie Pendleton and Ramasamy Perumal.


The Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America’s mission is to promote communication and collaboration in research and development among sorghum researchers and stakeholders in cooperation with universities, research centers, public institutions and private entities. It strives to link scientists and researchers with sorghum producers and industry representatives to help drive innovation and discovery in response to the industry’s challenges and opportunities.

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Registration for SICNA 2022 is now open.


Registration Dates:

Register by Feb. 28—Early Bird Registration Rate – $550
March 1 – March 11—Registration Rate – $600
March 14—At The Event, Onsite Registration Only Rate – $650
Student Registration Fee – $175

Hotel Information:

Hyatt Regency DFW
2334 N. International Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75261

Group rate is $167
Reservation deadline is March 7


  • Transportation and Parking Guidelines

    Driving directions, parking, airport transportation and other information about the hotel available here.

  • Health and Safety Guidelines

    A note on health and safety guidelines from the venue. Information is subject to change.


2022 SICNA Conference – “Sorghum: Sustainable in a Changing World”

Monday, March 28 Sponsor Room
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. CSIP Board Meeting
3:00 p.m. Plant Germplasm and Materials Committee
12:00 p.m. Student Contest Prep (students may come to room and confirm presentation is loaded)
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Student Contest
4:00 p.m. Check-in, Registration Opens
6:00 p.m. Opening Reception- Announce Finalist for Student Contest United Sorghum Checkoff Program
Tuesday, March 29 Speaker Sponsor Room
8:00 a.m. Welcome Laura Mayor, SICNA Chair, Global Sorghum Breeding Lead, Corteva Agrisciences
S&W Seed Company
8:05 – 9:00 a.m. Keynote: Sorghum + Sensors + Sustainability = SMARTFARM Gopal Kakani, Professor & Interim Head, Oklahoma State University
9:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Research Session #1 – Breeding & Biotechnology – Discipline Chairs, Drs. Chad Hayes, USDA-ARS & Patrica Klein, TAMU
Session 1. Using High-throughput Phenotyping via Small Unoccupied Aerial Systems in Sorghum Breeding and Research Programs Ace Pugh, Research Geneticist (Postdoc), USDA-ARS
Scott Seed
Session 2. The incredible success of sugarcane aphid resistance, and what it says about the future of sorghum breeding Geoff Morris, Associate Professor, Colorado State University
Session 3. Building global breeding solutions to drive crop specific performance Geoffrey Graham, Global Plant Breeding Lead, Corteva Agriscience
Finalist Announcement for Student Oral Contest
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 – 12:15 p.m. Student Research Presentations from the Award Winning Student Competition
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch and Poster Viewing
1:45 – 3:30 p.m. Research Session #2 – Agronomy & Physiology – Discipline Chair, Dr. Yves Emendack, USDA-ARS
Session 1. Transforming grain sorghum yield potential and grain quality through trait-based ideotype breeding Krishna Jagadish, Professor & Thornton Distinguished Chair, Texas Tech University
Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab
Session 2. Retrospective study on yield & development of an envirotyping for sorghum. Ignacio Ciampitti, Professor, Kansas State University and Ana Carcedo, Research Scholar, Kansas State University
Session 3. Quantifying nitrous oxide emissions from grain sorghum cropping systems in Oklahoma and Kansas Peter Tomlinson, Associate Professor, Kansas State University
3:45- 4:45 p.m. Business meeting – Dr. Laura Mayor, SICNA Chair
6:00 p.m. Reception
6:30 p.m. Banquet Keynote: Sorghum: Where We’ve Been; Where We’re Going
Student Awards & NSP recognitions
Keynote Speaker. Norma Ritz Johnson, Executive Director, United Sorghum Checkoff Program Center for Sorghum Improvement
Wednesday, March 30 Speaker Sponsor Room
7:40 a.m. Welcome Laura Mayor, SICNA Chair, Global Sorghum Breeding Lead, Corteva Agrisciences
7:45 – 9:30 a.m. Research Session #3 – Entomology & Pathology – Discipline Chairs, Drs. Chris Little, K-State & Dalton Ludwick, TAMU Alta Seeds
Session 1. A Systematic Response to Addressing New Invasive Pest Species: Blending Research and Outreach David Kerns, Associate Department Head, IPM Coordinator & Professor, Texas A&M University
Session 2. Pre-harvest sprouting damage in mature grain sorghum during prolonged wet weather in South Texas Gary Odvody, Associate Professor, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Session 3. Optimization of UAS-based high-throughput phenotyping to estimate plant health in sorghum William Rooney, Monsanto Borlaug Chair in Crop Improvement, Texas A&M University
9:45 – 11:30 a.m. Research Session #3 – Utilization & Tech Transfer – Discipline Chairs, Drs. Kaliramesh Siliveru, K-State & Josh Lofton, OSU Innovative Seed Solutions, LLC
Session 1. Grain Sorghum Derived Proteins, Peptides, and Polyphenols: Extraction, Properties, and Applications Yonghui Li, Associate Professor, Kansas State University
Session 2. New Herbicide Technologies in Grain Sorghum Todd Baughman, Weed Science Program Support Leader, Oklahoma State University
Session 3. The quantification of life cycle emissions for grain-based feedstocks Xinyu Liu, Energy Systems Analyst, Argonne National Laboratory

A training on the GREET Model – Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator (FD-CIC) provided by Argonne National Laboratory is scheduled from noon-2:30 p.m. Interested participants should contact Sarah Sexton-Bowser


Registered attendees are invited to submit entries for a general research poster and registered student attendees are invited to submit entries to one of the student competitions, oral or poster.
Questions for the student competitions may be directed to Dr. Bonnie Pendleton at Students are encouraged to email Dr. Pendleton with a notice of interest to compete. 

Questions for the general attendee research poster may be directed to Dr. Gloria Burow at Attendees are encouraged to email Dr. Burow with a notice of interest to submit. 

Guidelines for Oral and Poster Presentations

  • For either oral or poster presentation, submit your abstract via the website submission form.
  • The deadline for submission of the abstract is Friday, February 2, 2024; 11:59 p.m. CST.
  • Students may enter either an oral presentation or a poster, but not both.

Student Oral Presentation:

  1. The session will be open to the public.
  2. Time allotted for each presentation: 10 minutes.
  3. Questions and answers: 2 minutes extra; approximately 3 or 4 questions; 2 from judges and 1 or 2 from audience.
  4. Participants are responsible for uploading their presentation HERE on or before March 8, 2022.
  5. All oral presentations must be in PowerPoint format.
  6. The speaker must also bring on a USB-drive the presentation saved as a PowerPoint or as a PDF on Monday, March 28.
  7. To determine the top three ranking participants, the committee will tally (add all scoring categories) scores; students with the highest three scores plus judges’ consultation/approval will advance to the Final Round. Scores during the preliminary round will not count for the Final Round.  The decision of the judges will be final in both the preliminary and final rounds.

Student and General Research Poster Presentation:

  1. The session will be open to the public.
  2. The maximum allowable poster size is 40 inches wide by 48 inches tall.
  3. The recommended minimum font size is 22 pt.
  4. Posters in the competition must be hung in place in advance of the conference. [instructions information to be determined]
  5. The author-presenter is requested to remain beside the poster during the breaks.
  6. The author-presenter is responsible for removing their poster following the event. [instructions information to be determined]

Student Oral and Poster Presentations will be evaluated and judged using the following criteria:

Criteria Points Details
Abstract 10 Format, grammar, and content

Abstracts shall not exceed 300 words.

Introduction and Rationale 15 Clearly stated, background with pertinent literature cited
Objectives/Hypothesis 5 Clearly stated and concise
Materials and Methods 15 Study design easily understood and concise
Results and Discussion 20 Analysis, interpretation, conclusion, future direction, and implications
Content and Mechanics 10 Grammar, style, and quantity of information
Appearance 15 Easily read, uncluttered, well-designed tables and figures, clear and relevant photos, and balanced layout
Oration 10 Voice, confidence, enthusiasm, and response to questions

Abstract shall not exceed 300 words.


Questions and Submissions

SICNA 2023 Event Organizer

For questions, please contact Sarah Sexton-Bowser at