Tuesday, October 22, 2013
miss-sorghum

Nebraska: Tips for Growing Forage Sorghum

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Forage sorghum is a good crop to use in rotation to break the insect and disease cycles that can develop in continuous corn.

For example, corn rootworm larvae cannot survive on sorghum roots, so sorghum after corn works well. Corn after sorghum can sometimes still be a problem because rootworm adults can lay eggs in sorghum, especially if sorghum is flowering after corn silking. Scout for this situation before going back to corn.




When adding sorghum to your crop rotation, try these recommendations:

Herbicide Choices. Sudangrass, forage sorghum, and sorghum-sudan hybrids will tolerate moderate levels of atrazine. Safened seed is required if using Dual or Bicep-like herbicides containing s-metolachlor. A list of herbicides labeled for use in sorghum in Nebraska is available in the latest edition of the UNL Guide to Weed Management. Keep in mind there are fewer herbicides labeled for use in forage sorghum compared to corn on pre- and post-application strategies.

Seeding Rate. Use 6-12 lb per acre for forage sorghum. Use the lower rates in dry areas and higher rates in humid and irrigated areas. Higher seeding rates will help produce finer stems, which often are desirable for pasture and hay. The use of 15-inch rows may help standability because stems may get thicker when plant-to-plant competition is reduced.

Nitrogen. Recommended nitrogen rates are available in the sorghum chapter of the UNL Extension guide, Nutrient Mangement for Agronomic Crops in Nebraska. Fertilize according to your yield goal which is also tied to moisture in the profile at seeding time. It is important to check soil for residual nitrogen before fertilizing to further fine-tune nitrogen rate.

Seeding Timing. Soils should be above 60°F when sudangrass and sorghum are planted. Seedings made in late May and early June usually give good results in Nebraska. For southeast Nebraska and southern tier counties the date can be pushed up a couple weeks; however, planting the first week of May can be very risky. May 15 plantings are generally OK if the seed is fungicide-treated.

No-Till Planting. No-till planting techniques can save water, increase forage yield on rainfed land, save labor, be beneficial to soil health and provide residue cover from the previous crop to protect the soil surface and influence soil temperatures in the summer to the benefit of microbial activity. Make sure your drill or planter has enough weight and down pressure to cut and handle the residue and get the seed to the proper seeding depth of 1 -1 1/2 inches. To avoid sidewall compaction, do not apply more pressure to closing wheels if soil is on the “tacky” side at planting.

Fall Cover Crop. There may be opportunities for planting a fall-seeded cover crop or cereal rye for spring grazing or a cereal rye hay crop or cereal rye green chop cut at early heading before planting forage sorghum. You have to be on top of the chopping timeframe as rye can jump up tall in a hurry and go down and/or dry out the 2-foot profile. Be aware of your cover crop moisture use.

Feed Value of Forage Sorghum for Silage. For silage choose forage sorghums, especially hybrids with high grain production. They can’t be beat for tonnage or for feed value. As silage, forage sorghums usually yield more dry matter per acre than dryland corn, and will yield similarly to corn under irrigation. However, yields of TDN (total digestible nutrients) per acre are usually lower from forage sorghums than from corn. Generally, forage sorghum silage has 75% to 85% of the energy value of corn silage per unit of dry matter, while other summer annual grasses have 60% to 80% percent of the value of corn silage.

Brown Mid Rib Trait or BMR. Use sorghum with BMR for growing calves or any cattle with higher nutrient demands. Newer cultivars have overcome most, but not all, increased lodging risk. Producers need to work with a reputable seed dealer. Use a good forage sorghum grain producer who breeds for silage.

Cautions (After Cutting the Forage Sorghum for Silage). Grazing of forage sorghums is not recommended. They usually contain much higher levels of prussic acid than other summer annual grasses and can be dangerous to graze even when plants are completely headed, especially when young shoots are present. Grazing regrowth or young plants before a killing freeze after silage harvest would be a very high risk or dangerous situation for cattle.

Forage Sorghum Silage Tips. Forage sorghums are usually tall growing and mature late in the growing season. Often called “cane,” forage sorghums have sweet, juicy stems. Many have relatively small grain heads. Silage is often cut soon after frost to reduce moisture, especially with forage sorghums. Cutting short will maximize yield from that harvest. Taller stubble (8 inches) can hasten drying, reduce the risk of nitrate poisoning, and encourage regrowth.

The moisture content should be 70% or less for good preservation in upright silos. Wilting high moisture forage can be difficult because the crop dries slowly and regrows rapidly when soil moisture is adequate. Silage at 70-75% moisture can be stored in trench or bunker silos. Dry feed can be added to high-moisture forage to reduce the overall moisture level. If you are doing this practice of mixing, mix well when trying to adjust moisture with another feedstuff. Silage inoculants can pay off especially well when moisture is in upper range.

Pricing Forage Sorghum. We suggest pricing sorghum silages in relation to corn silage of the same moisture content. Forage sorghums with fairly high grain yield in relation to forage (sorgo types) usually have 80%-90% of the value of corn silage per unit of dry matter.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    Rice Market: Technical Indicators Remain in “Sell” Mode10-24

    Rice Crop: Harvest Nearly Complete, Ratoon Harvest to Start Soon10-24

    Rose on Cotton: Increased Export Competition with India10-24

    Grain TV: Unable to Sustain Yesterday’s Gains10-24

    DTN Livestock Close: Cattle Futures Move Lower10-24

    Doane Cotton Close: Strong Stock Market Keeps Prices Up10-24

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Markets Decline Across the Board10-24

    AFB Cotton Close: Higher in Middle of Day’s Range10-24

    AFB Rice Close: Nearby Contracts Slightly Higher10-24

    DTN Cotton Close: Jumps Ahead as Volume Improves10-24

    DTN Grain Close: Markets Pull Back, End Week Higher10-24

    Cleveland on Cotton: Market Keeps Spinning the Same Record10-24

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights10-24

    Georgia Pecans: Very Light Deliveries, Season Still Running Late10-24

    Soybean Cyst Nematodes: Soil Sampling, Resistant Varieties Are the Best Defense – DTN10-24

    Farm Finances: Prepare Now for Rising Interest Rates – DTN10-24

    Mississippi Pumpkins: Heavy Rains Damaged Crop, Delayed Harvest10-24

    DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle Futures Turn Lower10-24

    Louisiana Soybeans: Headed for Another Record Year10-24

    DTN Grain Midday: Corn, Soybeans Move Lower10-24

    Dried Distillers Grains Eyed as Fish Food — DTN10-24

    DTN Cotton Open: Slightly Higher on Light Volume10-24

    DTN Livestock Open: Cash Cattle Values Surge10-24

    DTN Grain Open: Futures Extend Gains10-24

    Keith Good: EPA’s Water Rule Approved by Internal Review Board10-24

    Grain TV: Soybean Exports Double Expectations10-23

    Livestock: Country Of Origin Labeling Debate Marches On – DTN10-23

    Small Scale Organic Farming a Good Way to Branch into Ag – DTN10-23

    U.S. Grain Transportation: Higher Soybean Shipment Boosts Inspections10-23

    Advances in Farming Technology Continue to Aid Mother Nature — DTN10-23

    Ethanol Production Profits Hit the Wall — Why Did it Happen?10-23

    U.S. Energy: Crude Exports, Re-Exports Continue to Rise10-23

    Gasoline Prices: Show 9-Cent Decrease10-23

    Propane Stocks: Increase by 0.2M Barrels10-23

    Diesel Prices: Average Drops 4 Cents10-23

    Alabama: Recent Weather Radar Oddity Was Mayfly Swarm10-22

    Soybean Harvest: Prioritize Shatter-Prone Fields – DTN10-22

    Ethanol: Court Tosses E15 Labeling Lawsuit – DTN10-22

    Georgia: 2 Counties Declared Natural Disaster Areas10-22

    Arkansas: 2 Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas10-22

    AgFax Grain Review: More Lawsuits Against Syngenta; Harvest Well Behind Pace10-22

    2 Families, 2 Approaches to Building Ranch Tourism — DTN10-22

    Don’t Just Piggy-Back on Others’ Prices in Ag Commodity Markets10-22

    National Cotton Council Commends Timely APH Announcement10-22

    Wheat Growers to Seek Inclusion in APH Yield Exclusion for 2015 – DTN10-21

    Farm Shop Dream Requires Thoughtful Planning – DTN10-21

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices10-21

    USDA to Implement APH Yield Exclusion for 2015 Spring Crops10-21

    Arkansas: USA Rice Outlook Conference Set Dec. 7-9 in Little Rock10-21

    AgFax Cotton Review: Lower Acres May Close Mill; Australia Acres Up10-21

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: High Costs May Alter Growers’ Tactics for 201510-21

    Herbicide Resistant Weed Summit’s Slides, Webcast Available Online10-20

    Rice and Sugar: Thailand’s Quest for World Domination10-20

    AgFax Peanut Review: NM Down 6M Pounds as State Celebrates 100 Year Crop10-20

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney