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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 5, p. 669-672
    Received: Dec 7, 1973

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Effects of Fall Weathering on Yield and Composition of Grain Sorghum Stover1

  1. Neal P. Martin and
  2. W. F. Wedin2



Increased utilization of grain sorghum (Sorghum hicolor (L.) Moench) stover by livestock maintained for reproductive purposes is suggested, based on its availability. There is little data available, however, on the nutritional value of stover as influenced by fall weathering. We evaluated the dry matter (DM) yield, percentage crude protein (CP), and percentage in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) of stover, stalks, and leaves late fall and early winter in Iowa. Two combine-type cultivars, ‘Nebraska 505’ and ‘RS 610,’ were grown at three populations (128,500; 192,700; and 257,000 plants/ha) from which stover was sampled six different times between September 27 and December 22, 1969, and September 19 and December 28, 1970.

Dry matter yields increased (4.59 to 4.90 metric tons/ha) between grain harvest and killing frost, gradually decreased until late November (3.78 metric tons/ha), and remained unchanged in late December. Percentage CP in the stover gradually increased (6.1 to 6.9%) from grain harvest until late December. Stover IVDMD varied little (57.1 to 56.4%) before frost after which a low of 50.9% resulted in late November. Percentage IVDMD of the leaves dropped from 58.9 to 54.6% between grain harvest and frost.

Stover of RS 610 ranked above Nebraska 505 in DM, CP, and IVDMD yields. Increasing plant population above 128,500 plants/ha increased stover yields slightly. The stover percentage CP and IVDMD obtained before frost suggested adequacy as a ration for ruminants being maintained for reproductive purposes while some supplementation would likely be required later depending on length of post~ost time before harvest or grazing.

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