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Sorghum crop harvested for feed trial at Dairy Campus

09 February 2021

The sorghum variety STH18119 was harvested and ensilaged on September 25. The sorghum silage is intended for a feed trial with dairy cows at Dairy Campus.

The aim of the trial is to test the effect of partial replacement of silage maize silage with sorghum silage on feed intake, milk yield, milk composition and enteric methane emission.

The sorghum crop STH18119 was grown together with another variety on a trial field of DSV Seeds BV in Ven-Zelderheide (North Limburg). Both varieties were grown on the same trial field with the aim of choosing one for the feed trial at harvest time. Selection criteria were:

  • a good emergence after sowing,
  • no alloy,
  • no growth inhibition when using crop protection products,
  • be uniform in crop and poultry filling during the ripening phase.

Differences in races

STH18119 most fulfilled these properties. Granules on the underside of the plume practically no longer gave moisture after pressing between finger and thumb. The dry matter content of the whole plant was estimated to be 32 to 35 percent at harvest. When determining the dry matter of the harvested material, the dry matter percentage was found to vary from 32.4 to 34.8 percent. The yield varied from 17.0 to 18.5 tons of dry matter per hectare.

The other variety was also a beautiful crop, about 190 cm high, 20-30 cm higher than STH18119. However, it had plumes that differed in the maturation process. This was due to the formation of side shoots, the plume of which ripens later than the main stem. The yield varied from 9.4 to 17.5 tons of dry matter per hectare. The dry matter content at harvest was estimated to be about 32 percent. When determining the dry matter of the harvested material, the dry matter percentage was found to vary from 27.3 to 38.6 percent. Alloying of the crop could be seen. The low yield of 9.4 tons of dry matter per hectare is due to alloy.

Harvesting in one pass

During the chopping process, sealed round bales with a weight of approximately 330 kilograms were pressed in one pass. Higher weights are not desirable because of a low feed speed in the feed trial. The feed trial with dairy cows is scheduled for early 2021.



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