Harvest Recommendations for Forage

Forage sorghum with grain:Harvesting Forage Sghum
Optimum harvest timing begins when 80 percent or more of heading has occurred to soft dough stage of the grain.

Forage sorghum without grain (male sterile):
Since this product produces no grain, it should be allowed to head and begin to dry down before harvest. Moisture levels should be appropriate for harvest approximately 30 days after heading depending on growing conditions.

Sorghum-sudangrass:
For the best quality and yield under a multi-cut program, harvest at 40 days or 40 inches of growth, whichever comes first. Mechanical harvesters should be set to leave 2 nodes or 6 inches of stubble, whichever is higher. Harvesting at this height will promote more rapid re-growth. At the latest, harvest when 50 percent of the plants have reached the flag leaf stage. Under the one cut program, cutting height can be lower to maximize yields. Opening the swather for a wide windrow promotes drying. Sharp blades provide for a clean cut and enhance re-growth.

Grazing: Cattle should be allowed to begin grazing at approximately 24 inches of growth and grazing should be stopped when height is reduced to 6 inches to promote rapid and adequate re-growth from the remaining basal nodes.

Photoperiod Sensitive sorghum-sudangrass:
These products has a very wide window of harvest. Photosensitive types will remain in the vegetative state until the plant receives approximately 12 hours and 20 minutes of daily sunlight, thus allowing for the greatest amount of harvest flexibility. Once day length falls below this threshold, it goes to a reproductive state (will begin booting). For the best quality and yield under a multi-cut program, harvest at 40 days or 40 inches of growth, whichever comes first. Mechanical harvesters should be set to leave 2 nodes or 6 inches of stubble, whichever is higher. Harvesting at this height will promote more rapid re-growth. At the latest, harvest when 50 percent of the plants have reached the flag leaf stage. Under the one cut program, cutting height can be lower to maximize yields. Opening the swather for a wide windrow promotes drying. Sharp blades provide for a clean cut and enhance re-growth.

Grazing: Cattle should be allowed to begin grazing at approximately 24 inches of growth and grazing should be stopped when height is reduced to 6 inches to promote rapid and adequate re-growth from the remaining basal nodes.

Sudangrass:
For the best quality and yield under a multi-cut program, harvest at 40 days or 40 inches of growth, whichever comes first. Mechanical harvesters should be set to leave 2 nodes or 6 inches of stubble, whichever is higher. Harvesting at this height will promote more rapid re-growth. At the latest, harvest when 50 percent of the plants have reached the flag leaf stage. Under the one cut program, cutting height can be lower to maximize yields. Opening the swather for a wide windrow promotes drying. Sharp blades provide for a clean cut and enhance re-growth.

Grazing: Cattle should be allowed to begin grazing at approximately 24 inches of growth and grazing should be stopped when height is reduced to 6 inches to promote rapid and adequate re-growth from the remaining basal nodes.

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