Fields should be ploughed before sowing to reduce weed and pest intensity. Soil tillage also increases the seed germination rate, improves the soil structure and prevents erosion. Sorghum is sensitive to frost so the sowing should happen after the last frost. Furthermore, the seeds need a certain degree of moisture to germinate. Drought events during planting can decrease the germination rate.
The robust staple crop Sorghum is mainly grown on shallow soils with high clay content but can also survive on more sandy soils. It can tolerate a wide range of pH levels and also thrives on alkaline soils. The plant can withstand waterlogging and drought to a certain degree but grows best on well drained soils.
Sorghum grows best in warm regions with daytime temperatures around 27 to 30 °C. The crop can withstand drought in a dormant state if its roots are developed well enough and resume growth once the conditions are favorable again. In tropical and subtropical regions Sorghum can be grown in elevations up to 2300 m. Water requirements differ depending on the cultivar but are generally lower than for maize.