Original article by Tom Kilcer, Advanced Ag Systems
The season is quickly arriving at harvest time. Our BMR brachytic forage sorghum has done well in spite of the extremely dry weather. It was planted the 25 of May but stood still for a while until it got watered (June 3 planting was killed by chilling injury from very cold temperatures). Soft dough stage was just reached today on most of the plants. Yields are running 22 to 25 tons of 35% dry matter silage in spite of the very dry summer (we had some critical rains others did not). For those growing it for the first time the following are the questions you have asked or should be asking; the following are some suggestions based on our research the with the crop the past five years.
When to harvest: as the head comes out of the boot, sorghum is very different from other cool season grasses or winter forage. It continually adds both yield and quality. With the help of the New York Farm Viability Institute, we are determining exactly what the changes are in New York conditions and optimum time for milk production. Last year’s data is presently being run through the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein Synthesis model to determine the milk producing ability. Samples are being taken now to repeat the test this year.
Once the sorghum head is completely extended and pollination occurs; nearly all the growth effort is improving yield of quality and energy.