Millet and sorghum

Dairy Australia

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

Useful introductory information.

This Dairy Australia webpage and associated PDF introduces the use of millet and sorghum.

Both millet and sorghum tend to be more reliable than other annual summer crops like brassicas or chicory when soil water is limited.

The following advantages and disadvantages are outlined:

Advantages

  • More likely to attain a minimum amount of feed than most other broad-leaf summer crop options (due to higher tolerance to water stress and low risk of insect attack).
  • Higher nitrogen (N) use efficiency (kg DM/kg N) than most broad-leaf summer forage crops.
  • Selective sprays can be used as many times as necessary to secure control of problematic broad-leaf weeds.

Disadvantages

  • Poor control of grass weeds.
  • Poor nutritive value of summer diet for lactating cows.
  • Can have moderate ME but rapidly lose quality once past the ideal grazing height (brassicas or herbs like chicory or plantain are better).
  • Often can’t be sown until late spring-early summer (due to higher minimum soil temperatures required for germination) so miss out on growth potential under good growing conditions.
  • Stock risk prussic acid poisoning if grazed at certain stages of growth (especially sorghum).
  • Cool summer conditions in southern Victoria can restrict crop growth.
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