By King’s Research Team
One concept that is fairly new to the market is the idea of harvesting summer annual forage sorghum at the boot stage. Boot stage harvest is managed as a mow and wilt rather than direct chop. Much like in small grain forages, the plant is allowed to mature to the point that it begins filling the seed boot in preparation for seed head formation (Feekes stage 10-10.5). The crop is then mowed, allowed to dry to ~35% dry matter and chopped. Kings has completed a few trials using this management practice. To date we have seen that this program works well after short season corn in our more southern regions. In addition, boot stage harvest also provides quick forage in our more northern season regions to allow for timely planting of small grain forages.
- Seeding Rate– 25lbs/Acre
- Seeding Depth– Seed into moisture. 1 inch deep.
- Manage according to plant maturity. This will require ing monitoring the plant to ensure boot stage harvest is met.
2013 King’s Sorghum Boot Stage Harvest Trial—Mt. Joy, PA
Planted 06/20/13- Harvested 08/08-08/28 Previous Crop– Soybeans Fertility– 70 Units of N
All sorghums were harvested at Feekes stage 10-10.5, which is boot stage through early head emergence, the stage of optimal quality for a cut and wilt system.