Forage Sorghum

Sorghum x Sudan grass hybrid

Forage Sorghum is an annual summer grass. It establishes quickly, producing high levels of organic matter.

 

As the name indicates, this grass is popular as feed for livestock. Care should be taken when grazing, due to risks of prussic acid poisoning from stressed plants (due to frost, high temperatures, or drought).

Forage Sorghum should never be grazed by horses.

 

Forage Sorghum is unrivaled in its ability to build soil organic matter - and therefore is often used in cover cropping, either alone or in a blend.

Benefits

  • High organic matter production

  • Suppresses weeds

  • Establishes easily

  • Vigorous growth

  • Suppression of some nematode species

  • Scavenge excess nutrients

  • Penetrates compacted soils

  • Prevent erosion

  • Highly palatable to livestock

​Climatic & Soil Conditions
  • Annual, warm-season grass

  • Suited to varied climatic conditions

  • Drought tolerant - able to produce in areas with above 350mm

  • Production can be greatly improved under irrigation

Planting

  • Seeding rate is dependant on location & planting method (varying between 4-25kg per hectare)

Utilization of Forage Sorghum:

  • Graze when the stand is 75 – 80 cm in height (100 cm at the highest).

  • Graze to no lower than 25 cm. This will keep the stand in a vegetative stage. By keeping the stand vegetative, waste caused by trampling is also reduced.

  • Under normal conditions grazing may commence 30 - 40 days after planting.

  • Forage sorghum recovers rapidly after utilisation, and a 30cm growth per week may be obtained under good conditions. However, the plants must not be grazed too short as this will deplete the plant reserves too much and hamper the regrowth. Grazing shorter than 15 - 20cm is not recommended.

  • If allowed to flower, regrowth is severely compromised.

  • If these rules are followed, the plants should be ready for utilization again by approximately 20 days later, also depending on climatic conditions.