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The Right Hybrid

Forage Sorghum Hybrid Selection

Many factors go into selecting and managing the forage sorghums that will fit your needs. While each operation
or situation is unique, follow these steps to help you pinpoint which hybrids will work best for your program.


FORAGE SORGHUM HYBRIDS

Plant Characteristics

  • Seed requires 60°F soil temperature at planting
  • Tall plant with more leaves and a sweet stalk
  • Later maturing with a small grain head
  • Very high biomass yields with limited regrowth potential
  • Suggested seeding rate is 100,000 seeds per acre where there’s adequate moisture or irrigation and 60,000 seeds per acre in limited-moisture areas

Harvest/Feeding Characteristics

  • Harvest at late-milk to soft dough stage
  • Single-cut for silage when plant reaches 67 to 72 percent whole plant moisture; forage sorghum can be harvested after frost in the North for silage.

SORGHUM X SUDAN HYBRIDS

Plant Characteristics

  • Seed requires 60°F soil temperature at planting
  • Female sorghum and male sudan hybrid cross
  • These possess the strong tillering and regrowth ability of a sudan hybrid, which is ideal for multiple harvests with increased tonnage potential
  • Suggested seeding rate is 20 to 25 pounds per acre where there’s adequate moisture or irrigation and 20 pounds per acre in limited moisture areas.

Harvest/Feeding Characteristics

  • Optimal harvest timing is 40 days or 40 inches tall
  • Dry hay in the Plains, West, South and Southwest
  • Haylage or baleage in the Midwest, East and Southeast
  • Start summer grazing when plants reach 18 to 24 inches; remove animals when two nodes are left above the ground

SUDAN HYBRIDS

Plant Characteristics

  • Seed requires 60°F soil temperature at planting
  • Shorter stature with fine stalks
  • More leaves than a forage sorghum with excellent regrowth for multiple harvests
  • Multiple tillering ability, excellent for hay/haylage or grazing
  • Suggested seeding rate is 15 pounds per acre where there’s adequate moisture or irrigation and 10 pounds per acre in limited moisture area

Harvest/Feeding Characteristics

  • Optimal harvest timing is 40 days or 40 inches
  • Start summer grazing when plants reach 18 to 24 inches; remove animals when two nodes are left above the ground

PEARL MILLET

Plant Characteristics

  • Seed requires 65°F soil temperature at planting
  • This is a C4 warm-season annual grass that is small seeded (about 50,000 seeds per pound)
  • Suggested seeding rate is 15 pounds per acre where there’s adequate moisture or irrigation and 10 pounds per acre in limited moisture areas

Harvest/Feeding Characteristics

  • Good choice for horse feed with lack of prussic acid and high digestibility
  • Good for dry hay areas with high humidity during summer
  • Optimal harvest timing is 40 days or 40 inches tall
  • Start summer grazing when plants reach 18 to 24 inches; remove animals when two nodes are left above the ground