Forage Sorghum Fit ?

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Stocker Steve

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We are seeing a few low input guys plant forage sorghum in the north. It did OK during the drought. Actually better than silage corn. How do the economics work out in the mid south?
 

Till-Hill

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Steve me and buddy been considering doing test plot.

We chopped corn off 10 acres, going to seed winter rye after we haul some stock pile manure. Chop or wet wrap rye next June 1, haul manure again and put soghum sudan grass in it and shoot for 2 crops. See how many tons we can get and costs compared to corn or hay. From what I'm reading for beef cow feed I don't know corn or hay could compete........
 
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Stocker Steve

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My rye is all in. Turkeys are happy.

Local seed man realllly likes double cropping. We have shorter seasons and less summer rain than most, so this works best under irrigation.

Targeted planting date for warm season grasses here has moved up. Some is going in about Memorial Day. Certainly the soil was warm enough this year.

I think having grazing corn or corn silage is a benefit during these drier years. But the price of corn seed and urea raises questions. So has forage sorghum improved enough to make if a lower cost silage crop?
 

Till-Hill

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Buddy planted sorgham sudan early June in some heavy deer areas that were going to crp, first cutting was 6 5' x 5' bales and he got caught not cutting it again and a frost smoked it dead. I think would have went 3-4 bales again. 0 fertilizer, surrounded by tree, mined out dirt for years. Deer never touched it.
 
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Stocker Steve

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I have heard that they plant a lot of SS in parts of Michigan with very high deer population. I had some soil tested and got a recommendation for 15T of sorghum silage vs. grain corn. The P&K needed was similar, but the N needed was much less for sorghum. Should go back and look at corn silage vs. sorghum silage.

I think the issue here is between poor drainage, light soils, and deer - - there is only about 1/3 of the farm ground that is well suited to traditional row crops. So you need to look at other options. I guesstimated it would cost, including land rent, $64/T dry matter to produce forage sorghum. Harvest would be extra.
 

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