June 2021 Successful Sorghum Planting

As farms search for the holy grail of milk production: higher quality forage at lower cost, more are trying the latest research on the produc-tion of BMR and non-BMR forage sorghum or sor-ghum-Sudan. With some corn varieties topping $350 a bag ($140/acre), BMR sorghum at 10 lbs. seed/acre is only about $20/acre, a lower cost before the crop is even planted. Nitrogen is similar to a good corn crop, and with seed treated by a safener, the proper herbi-cide can control the weeds. Research trials in the northern region of the US have resulted in mean yields of 35% dry matter silage that exceeded both the mean and the max yield of a corn variety trial planted next to it. Sorghum is easy to grow if you follow top yield practices. As you move further south into Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky, the potential for the crop increases even more. Sorghum thrives in these areas that frequently turn hot, dry, or both. Corn silage stops growing at temperatures over 85 F. Sorghum continues to grow up to 105 F. Conversely, in cool or cold summers, all sorghums can standstill. Corn will then clearly out-yield the heat requiring sorghums species. The forecast is for a slight-ly warmer than normal summer.

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