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Sorghum: A great substitute for corn in livestock diets

Argentina Spanish

Sorghum showed its potential as a forage resource in a study made by INTA Manfredi. Based on evaluations, it was established that it is possible to provide stability throughout the year and facilitate obtaining a positive nutritional balance.

The evaluations highlighted that the animals fed with sorghum silages achieved productive response levels similar to those obtained with corn silages. "These innovations open a great perspective of growth of the crop applied to the livestock production", reflected Marcelo De Leon, INTA Manfredi researcher.

De León also emphasizes that, like corn, sorghum provides good quality forage and can be conserved for strategic use at any time. This versatility contributes to intensify the production systems that allow increasing the animal load without diminishing the gains of individual weights.

At INTA Manfredi,  it was pointed out that the test consisted of comparing two hybrids of sorghum, one grain sorghum and another forage sorghum, with three hybrids of silage maize. In addition, the animal response was determined with Aberdeen Angus steers.

The results showed significant dry matter contribution. Silage sorghum generated 22,714 kg, grain sorghum 18,096 kg and maize 19,356 kg. The experimental station highlighted that the greater proportion of grain in the silage of the grain sorghum and its quality (white with low tannin) allowed obtaining a food with nutritional value similar to that of corn and the same animal response. On the other hand, the highest total production of the silage sorghum diluted its amount of grain and its high content of tannins possibly affected its rumen degradability. This behavior caused lower weight gain, but enough for excellent offspring.