University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Sorghum-sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench)

Warm-season grasses

Sorghum-sudangrass is a warm-season annual hybrid developed by crossing tall, stemmy sorghum with leafy sudangrass. It is adapted statewide for summer grazing and is well-suited for growing in drought conditions. Sorghum-sudangrass can produce 8,000 to 16,000 lb/acre of dry matter when harvested to a 6- to 10-inch stubble after accumulated growth reaches a height of 24 to 36 inches. It also responds well to split applications of nitrogen at establishment and then again after the first grazing. However, sorghum-sudangrass sometimes produces toxic levels of nitrate and prussic acid, both of which are aggravated by drought and frost. It is less tolerant of acid soils than pearlmillet and prefers levels of 5.5 or higher.


Yield distributionYield distribution of Sorghum-sudangrass in Missouri.

Seed head
Seed head

Collar region
Collar region

M181 Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage | University of Missouri Extension

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