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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340522

Research Project: Forage Characteristics that Alter Feed Utilization, Manure Characteristics and Environmental Impacts of Dairy Production

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Brown midrib sorghum deserves a look

Author
item Sanchez-duarte, Juan - South Dakota State University
item Kalscheur, Kenneth
item Garcia, Alvaro - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Hoard's Dairyman
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2017
Publication Date: 9/25/2017
Citation: Sanchez-Duarte, J., Kalscheur, K., Garcia, A. 2017. Brown midrib sorghum deserves a look. Hoard's Dairyman. 162(14):510-511.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Forage sorghum varieties have been developed to allow them to thrive under low moisture and poor soil conditions while producing adequate amounts of forage. In addition, newer varieties, such as the brown midrib (BMR) hybrids, can be alternatives to conventional varieties as they contain less lignin, resulting in improved ruminal fiber digestibility and potentially greater milk production. These forage sorghum varieties can be ensiled and used as a replacement for corn silage where environmental conditions do not support the production of corn for silage. This review looked at the research that has been conducted to evaluate BMR sorghum silage varieties compared to conventional sorghum silage varieties and conventional corn silage varieties. Varieties of BMR sorghum silage outperformed varieties of conventional sorghum silage, indicating that the improved fiber digestibility of the BMR varieties improves productivity. In addition, varieties of BMR sorghum silage performed similarly to varieties of convention corn silage, indicating that they can be partial replacements for corn silage, especially in regions where water availability is low and soil fertility is marginal.