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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Sorghum & Sudangrass

Species: Sorghum & Sudangrass

Additional sorghum & sudangrass information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Sorghum & Sudangrass Fertility

For forage production, fertilize grain and forage sorghums using soil test recommendations. In lieu of a soil test, fertilize similar to corn silage. Starter fertilizers can be used and should be most beneficial on the earliest plantings.

Fertilization of the other summer-annuals grasses, should be similar to other annual grass crops. Apply sufficient nitrogen (40 to 80 lb/acre) at planting to insure establishment and stimulate plant development. Use the low rate of N when manure has been applied and when planting after a failed corn crop which already received N. Another 50 pounds of nitrogen after the first harvest is also recommended for optimum production. Crude protein content of these grasses is directly related to rate of nitrogen fertilization. In a Pennsylvania study, crude protein content of summer- annual grasses was 7.7% when 50 pounds of N was applied and 11.4% when 200 pounds was applied. However, caution must be exercised to avoid nitrate poisoning when high rates of nitrogen fertilizer or manure are applied especially if dry conditions persist. The amount of phosphorus and potassium will depend on the soil test level and yield goal. At optimum soil test levels and a yield of about 4 tons dry matter per acre, 60 pounds of P2O5 and 120 pounds of K2O would be removed.

Additional and more detailed information on forage fertilization is also available.