Sorghum Management

Sorghum Silage

When harvesting forage sorghum for silage, 80% of the head should be in soft-dough stage, and whole plant moisture is between 60-70%.

Height and Yield Management: All Sorghums (more than corn) are extremely daylight sensitive. Later plantings are exposed to longer days and grow taller. Higher seeding rates in forage sorghum are often recommended. This reduces stem size, increases digestibility, and reduces lodging. Warm nights reduce plant height and cooler nights encourage elongation of cells producing greater height.

Sorghum x Sudangrass

Grazing: Begin at 24″ and stop grazing at 6″ to promote rapid re-growth. Rotational grazing is recommended for best quality.

Haying: For optimum quality and yield in a multi-cut program, the “rule of thumb” is harvest at 40 days or 40″ of growth, whichever comes first. Plants should be left with 6″ of stubble to promote the best regrowth. If using a single cut system, for best quality, plants should be harvested no later than pre-boot. Allowing the plant to head out drastically decreases protein and total digestible nutrients.

WARNING: All Sorghum and Sorghum x Sudangrass products are not recommended for horses. As a substitute, we recommend Pearl Millet Hybrid PP-102M.

Pearl Millet Hybrids

Planting: Plant at a depth of 1/2 to 1″ in a firm, moist, well-worked seedbed. Best not to plant if chances of hard, packing rains are possible due millet having difficulty pushing through a hard crust.

Fertilization: Apply 50% of recommended rate from soil analysis before planting or first cutting. Split remaining applications equally between anticipated cuttings. With proper management, millets can reach protein levels up to 21%.

Haying: Cut at pre-boot stage to maximize protein content and digestibility. Leave 6 to 8″ height to ensure faster growth.

Grazing: Begin grazing at 24-36″ height and leave stubble at 6 to 8″ height to ensure faster recovery and regrowth.