Both of these annuals should be planted at 60 to 65 degree soil temperature and planted 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Perhaps manure should be added as a fertilizer before planting because they have nitrogen requirements that are similar to corn.
The table shows averages for forage quality of BMR sorghum-sudangrass, teff grass, and cool-season grasses during 2013. The cool-season species consist of mixtures of smooth bromegrass, orchardgrass, red and white clover, and alfalfa. The dry matter of the sorghum-sudangrass was low because the cattle grazed the fresh forage in the early vegetative state. The summer annuals were not as high in crude protein as the cool-season grasses. However, with lower crude proteins, we probably improved nitrogen utilization of the milking herd. The ADF values of the grasses were very similar and are within the range of low 30s to mid-50s. All of these grass species were high in digestibility. The NDF levels were higher for the summer annual grasses compared to cool-season species. However, the total tract NDF digestibility (TTNDFD) was lowest for the teff grass. The TTNDFD is a measure of how much of the fiber is digestible, how fast the fiber digests, and how long a cow holds the fiber in the digestive system. The summer annuals were similar to the cool-season grasses for sugar and non-fiber carbohydrates, and they provided similar net energy for lactation and milk per ton as the cool season grasses.
Remember, sorghum-sudangrass and teff grass are not replacements for cool-season forages, but should be added to a forage program to complement the cool-season grasses. If there is a drought or dry weather, these two forages may prevent you from having to buy expensive hay during a drought. If you need any assistance with these unique forages or would like more information please contact me at 320-589-1711 or email@example.com.
Results for forage quality of BMR sorghum-sudangrass, teff grass, and cool-season grasses during 2013 at the University of Minnesota-WCROC dairy.
|Description (% of DM)||BMR sorghum-sudangrass||Teff grass||Cool-season grasses|
|Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF)||37.6||40.2||35.5|
|Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF)||58.1||61.8||52.7|
|Non-Fiber Carbohydrates (NFC)||18.8||14.1||18.1|
|Net Energy for Lactation (Mcal)||0.56||0.53||0.59|
|Milk per Ton||2476||2028||2450|