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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338702

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Effects of irrigation on sorghum forage yield and quality in the central sands region of Wisconsin

item GRISHAM, ABBEY - University Of Wisconsin
item AKINS, MATTHEW - University Of Wisconsin
item REMICK, ELIZABETH - University Of Wisconsin
item SU, HUAWEI - University Of Wisconsin
item Ogden, Robin
item Coblentz, Wayne

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2017
Publication Date: 6/25/2017
Citation: Grisham, A., Akins, M., Remick, E., Su, H., Ogden, R.K., Coblentz, W.K. 2017. Effects of irrigation on sorghum forage yield and quality in the central sands region of Wisconsin. Journal of Dairy Science. 100 (suppl. 2): 66.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to assess effects of irrigation on yield and quality of photoperiod sensitive (PS) and non-PS forage sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, and sudangrass in comparison to corn in central Wisconsin. The study was a strip-plot design with a 5 x 8 factorial arrangement of treatments. Five irrigation rates (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) relative to corn water needs were applied using a linear irrigation system with each rate applied in one strip. For practical purposes, the 0% rate was in a different field at the station with a similar soil type. Irrigation rates were attained using irrigation nozzles with different flow rates. Within irrigation rate strip, varieties (corn, PS forage sorghum, PS sorghum-sudangrass, forage sorghum, BMR forage sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, BMR sorghum sudangrass, PS BMR sudangrass) were randomized within 3 replicates. Plots were established June 2, 2016 and harvested using a single harvest at 1/3 to 1/2 corn kernel milk-line, soft to hard-dough stage for sorghums, or after a frost. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS 9.4. Precipitation as rain was 62.2 cm with irrigation totals of 7.4, 14.9, 22.4, and 29.8 cm for 25, 50, 75, and 100% rates, respectively. Varieties interacted with irrigation rate (P=0.04) with PS varieties and BMR forage sorghum most responsive to greater irrigation rates, corn having moderate responses, and forage sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass and sudangrass being less responsive. This response may be due to PS varieties exhibiting no reproductive growth before harvest. Sorghum-sudangrass and forage sorghum have potential to be grown with less irrigation and have excellent forage yields.