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Keywords:

  • sorghum varieties;
  • silage composition and digestibility;
  • maturity stage

Abstract

A new forage sorghum entitled Pnina was developed in Israel. Pnina, harvested at early milk (EM) and hard dough (HD) stages of maturity, was compared with commercial sorghum variety FS-5 and a sorghum BMR/Sudan hybrid Nutriplus. Plants grew during summer and were irrigated with 190 mm water. Pnina was semi-dwarf (1.35 m height) and absolutely resistant to lodging. The tall varieties FS-5 and Nutriplus suffered at HD from high lodging. Pnina was more leafy than Nutriplus and FS-5. The dry matter (DM) content of FS-5 and Nutriplus were at EM below the level recommended for ensilage and elevated slightly at HD, whereas DM content of Pnina was higher. Crop yields of all varieties at HD were similar and ranged between 13.3 and 14.7 t ha−1 DM. Dry matter losses during ensilage and silage pH were similar in the three varieties at HD. In vitro DM digestibility of HD silages ranged between 62.5 and 67.1%. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content was higher in Pnina silages. Yields of digestible silage per hectare, were similar in the three varieties harvested at HD (8.4 to 8.8 t ha−1 DM); however, yield of digestible NDF per hectare was higher in Pnina. Data suggest that the new variety Pnina may have field advantage over the other varieties of this study. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry