Summer Feed
Technical
Insight 503

SILAGE SORGHUM

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

GRAZE-N-SILE is a tall, late maturing grain sorghum hybrid grown for high quality, high yielding stack or bunker silage in dairy and beef rearing systems. GRAZE-N-SILE has been selected for its high first cut yield potential, plus grain content. It has soft, broad shiny leaves and large white grain filled heads, with vigorous and rapid establishment and growth. It is very palatable, and has excellent nutritional value, good protein levels and metabolisable energy, giving excellent overall digestibility.

GRAZE-N-SILE produces white grain heads and under proper management will prove itself as an excellent supplementary feed source for dairy and beef herds. It has the ability to grow well in hot or dry conditions and is an excellent option for late planting after a pasture silage harvest.

GRAZE-N-SILE requires a minimum soil temperature of 17°C constant day/night for quick germination and establishment. Generally, sowing is not recommended before late November to early December.

GRAZE-N-SILE silage at a glance: 
Time till utilisation: 110 - 120 days
Yield: 12 - 15 tDM/ha
Energy content: 9 - 10 MJ/kgDM
Protein 9 - 11% crude protein

SITE SELECTION

GRAZE-N-SILE prefers a deep soil and can be used either under dryland or irrigated conditions.

SOIL FERTILITY

A soil test is recommended to identify nutrient status and any possible deficiencies. Specific fertiliser requirements should be obtained from a fertiliser consultant based on the results of the soil test and the requirements of the crop.

The ideal soil pH range is 5.5 - 7.0, and the phosphate level should be greater than 20 ppm. If the pH is lower than 5.5, lime should be applied prior to planting.

GROUND PREPARATION

Effective weed control is important for GRAZE-N-SILE's establishment and subsequent growth. A firm seedbed is essential to promote good seed establishment and early vigour.

SOWING DATE

GRAZE-N-SILE should be sown 100-110 days before it is required for silage, although not before the soil temperature reaches 17°C and rising at 3-5 cm depth. In most areas and seasons this will not generally be until late November or early December, although monitoring should be carried out to identify when this temperature is reached. It is an excellent crop to follow cereal silage, which will normally be cut mid to late November.

GRAZE-N-SILE should be drilled and rolled into a fine moist seedbed at 6-12 kg/ha (dependant on soil moisture) to a depth of 3-5 cm. Broadcast sowing is not recommended. Direct drilling can be considered on some soil types.

SILAGE

GRAZE-N-SILE should only be made into pit or bunker silage. It is not suitable for wrapping. When the crop is cut, it will not require wilting in the paddock. If cut when the grain is milky, the yield and energy level will be sacrificed. Cutting later than dough stage can mean the crop moisture level is too low, making it harder to compact in the stack. Lodging may also occur if cutting is left till this later stage.

NITRATES AND PRUSSIC ACID

These are normally not an issue in GRAZE-N-SILE. However the crop should be sampled and analysed before cutting if nitrate build-up is suspected.

Ensiling may reduce the level of prussic acid in a crop however silage made from high risk crops should always be tested for prussic acid levels prior to feeding.

If in doubt contact your farm consultant or animal health expert immediately. Stock should always be monitored for metabolic problems.

FORAGE SORGHUM AND SUDANGRASS HYBRIDS SHOULD NOT BE GRAZED OR FED TO HORSES AS HAY OR SILAGE.


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Revised: June 2013
Expires: September 2015