Title: Sorghum-sudan and pearlmillet trials at A.R.E.C. Belle Glade for 1968 through ...
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Title: Sorghum-sudan and pearlmillet trials at A.R.E.C. Belle Glade for 1968 through ...
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Allen, R. J. Jr.
Publisher: Agricultural Research and Experiment Station, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Belle Glade, Fla.
Publication Date: April, 1975
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General Note: Belle Glade AREC Research Report EV-1975-6
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Bibliographic ID: UF00076916
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Belle Glade AREC Research Report EV-1975-6


SORGHUM-SUDAN AND PEARLMILLET TRIALS AT A.R.E.C.
BELLE GLADE FOR 1968 THROUGH 1973

R.J. Alien, Jr.1/


Fifty-one varieties of sorghum-sudan hybrids have been tested at Belle Glade
during the six year period of 1968 through 1973. Four of these varieties were
tested all six years, three for five years, one for four years, ten for three
years, twelve for two years, and twenty-one for one of these years.

Twenty-one varieties of pearlmillet were tested during the same period. Five
of these for four years, three for three years, six for two years, and seven for
one of these years.

These trials were a part of the state-wide Sorghum Variety Performance Trials
for Florida


EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

In 1968 and 1969 these trials were planted in prepared Everglades peat soil
at 10 lb seed per acre in 12 foot rows 3 feet apart. They were harvested by hand
cutting once when heads were in the dough stage. In 1970 and 1971 planting was
done with a Grassland Drill into Bermudagrass sod in 12 to 13 foot rows 16 inches
apart at 36 lb seed per acre for sorghum-sudan and 24 lb seed per acre for pearl-
millet. Harvesting was done with a flail type small plot harvester at late
vegetative stage of growth. In 1972 and 1973 the same planting equipment and seed
rates were used, but row width was 8 inches and one half of the trial was drilled
into Bermudagrass sod and half in prepared ground. Harvesting was by machine at
vegetative or grazing stage.

Soil analyses were made for these plot areas and adequate fertilizer was
applied. No weed control was used other than close mowing of the sod-seeded areas
immediately after planting.

Nitrate (NO3) analyses were made on representative varieties by the A.R.E.C.
Animal Science laboratory. In vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD)
analyses were made by the Forage Evaluation laboratory at Gainesville. Grazing
experiments were conducted by rotationally grazing both sorghum-sudan and pearl-
millet onfour 72 acre pastures in cooperation with a local ranch, and on two 10
acre pastures on the station.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

All yields for sorghum-sudan varieties are given in Table 1, and for pearl-
millet in Table 2.

In the first two years, 1968 and 1969, the sorghum-sudan varieties were
allowed to mature until seeds were in the dough stage. Average dry weight yields
were 7800 and 6200 lb/A respectively for these two years, with high yields of 9400
and 7600 lb/A. These are approximately 65 to 75 percent of similar yields of the
forage or silage type varieties for these same years, indicating that sorghum-
sudans should not be considered for a silage crop if forage sorghum types are


1/ Assistant Agronomist, University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research and
Education Center, Belle Glade, Florida 33430.


April 1975








available. This conclusion was borne out the following year when several acres of
sorghum-sudan varieties grown for silage yielded only 68 percent of two adjacent
forage sorghum types.

The pearlmillet varieties were treated the same way in the first two years
with essentially the same results and conclusions.

In 1970, immediately following completion of the first harvest of the sorghum-
sudan varieties, and when two replicates of the pearlmillet had been cut, heavy
rains started and continued for two days, leaving water standing on the field for
three to four days. Recovery of the sorghum-sudan was very poor and no valid
results for a second cut could be obtained. There was almost no recovery of the
pearlmillet which had been cut. However, three sorghum-sudan varieties in an
adjacent seed-rate row-space experiment which had been cut a week to ten days
previously, and guard plots which were not cut until after the rains, recovered
normally. The pearlmillet which was not cut until the field dried out recovered
normally and a good second harvest was obtained from these four replicates. This
experience indicates that these crops can stand the stress of cutting or the stress
of flooding, but not both at the same time.

In 1971 the trials were sod-seeded in early April and there was no rain for
approximately six weeks after planting. The sorghums, which are relatively large
seeded, made good stands in spite of the dry weather, and three harvests of the
sorghum-sudan varieties at late vegetative stage were made this year. The smaller
seeded pearlmillet made stands only 30 to 40 percent of normal and these were too
inconsistent to give valid yield data.

An advantage of sod-seeding was demonstrated in this dry spring of 1971 when
ten acres of plowed and harrowed pasture were seeded to pearlmillet in early April
and no stand was obtained, even after the rains came in mid to late May. This
field, intended for an exploratory experiment on supplemental summer grazing, had
to be reseeded. During the same dry spell pearlmillet sod-seeded into Bermudagrass
and into Pensacola Bahiagrass produced at least a third of a normal stand, and
sod-seeded sorghums made good stands. Two factors favorable to sod-seeding under
these conditions, at least in the Glades area, are (1) that the capillary action
is not broken between the surface and the water table, and (2) that the grass
cover shades the soil surface, preventing excessive evaporation and heat which
occurs on bare black soil.

A seed-rate row-space experiment in 1971 indicated that the seeding rates of
36 and 24 lb/A for sorghum-sudan and pearlmillet should be continued, but that
the row spacing should be reduced from 16 to 8 inches. This experiment was
repeated the following year with the same results.

In 1972 and 1973 soil moisture at planting was adequate and good stands were
obtained on both the sod and plowed and harrowed (P&H) areas. Three harvests were
made in 1972 at mid-vegetative stage, but in 1973 recovery after the first cutting
was poor and only one harvest was made.

In 1972 cutting was by height, or stage of growth. The first harvest from
the P&H plots was made at 34 days, and from the sod plots at 39 days after plant-
ing. Sod-seeded sorghum-sudan varieties averaged 3900 lb/A dry weight compared to
2500 lb/A from the P&H plots at the first cut, and 7500 against 4900 lb/A for the
season. However, the sod-seeded pearlmillets yielded only 2500 lb/A dry weight
compared to 3400 from the P&H plots at first cut, and only 5600 against 7600 lb/A
for the season.







In 1973 all harvesting "!as done at the same tine, 39 days after seeding for
the sorghum-sudan varieties and at 35 days for the pearlmillets. Sod-seeded
sorghum-sudan plots averaged 43 inches in height and yielded 1800 lb/A compared to
60 inches and 2400 lb/A for the P&H plots. Pearlmillet varieties were again lower
yielding on the sod with average height of 30 inches and 1900 lb/A against 40
inches and 3000 lb/A on the P&H plots.

As a general rule, if soil moisture is adequate and the seed bed well
prepared, germination and early growth are more rapid and vigorous on the P&H
plots than on the sod. This results in either an earlier first cutting or, if
both areas are cut at the same time, a higher yield at first harvest on the
prepared ground. However, this advantage is usually lost at the second cutting
due to much greater weed competition on the prepared ground.

Tables 3 and 4 list the results of analyses for nitrate (NO ) content and
percent in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) for six representative
sorghum-sudan varieties and ten pearlmillets. The high NO content on the P&H
plots reflects the accumulation of N that occurs in organic soils during seed bed
preparation. This build-up does not occur under sod to the same extent, since the
grass uses the N as it is released by the bacteria in the soil. These analyses
indicate that grazing of the sorghum-sudan on the P&H area, and of the pearlmillet
on either area, would not be safe until well after the crop had passed the best
grazing stage of 20 to 30 inches tall. On the sod areas sorghum-sudan would be
at the upper limit of NO3 content at 3 to 4 feet.

The IVOMD analyses reflect the maturity of the plants, or the ratio of stem
to the more digestible leaves.

A large scale supplemental summer grazing experiment was conducted in 1970
at the request of a local ranch. Four 72 acre pastures which had been in ryegrass
during the winter were disced in April and early May. Three of these fields were
planted to sorghum-sudan and one to pearlmillet. These were allowed to grow past
the best grazing height to about 5 feet tall before grazing to be sure of a
reasonably safe NO level. Visual estimates of the green weight forage yields
when the animals were first turned into the various pastures were in the range of
10 to 15 tons per acre at first cut if harvested for silage or green chop.

Steers averaging approximately 750 pounds grazed each of these pastures either
2 or 3 times during the summer months. The four pastures averaged 34 days of
grazing with a stocking rate of 2.7 head per acre, which gives 92 steer grazing
days per acre. Assuming a generous forage consumption of 100 pounds per animal
per day, only 9200 pounds or 4.6 tons per acre were harvested by the grazing
animals for the entire season. Hopes for greater animal weight gains than usually
obtained on permanent pasture were not realized.

The time that these fields were involved in this experiment averaged 150 days
from first discing in April to last grazing in September. During this time
equivalent permanent pastures of well managed St. Augustinegrass or paragrass can
carry 2 to 3 of the same size animals per acre on a continuous grazing program,
giving 300 to 450 steer grazing days per acre and saving the expense of land
preparation, seed, and frequent moving of cattle.

Exploratory work checking the feasability of a supplemental summer grazing
project was conducted on two ten acre pastures at this station using pearlmillet
in 1970 and sorghum-sudan in 1971. Results of this preliminary study were
considered negative and plans for the project were dropped.







SUMMARY

Fifty-one varieties of sorghum-sudan hybrids and twenty-one varieties of
pearlmillet have been tested at Belle Glade during the six year period from 1968
through 1973. When grown to maturity for silage, these grazing type crops yield
only about 70 percent of the forage types. At grazing stage IVOMD is good, but
NO3 content is excessive. Grazing experiments with these crops in the Glades
area have not given satisfactory results. Since there is no summer slmup in
growth of the tropical grasses used for pasture in this area, there is no real
need for summer grazing crops. For these several reasons, trials with sorghum-
sudan and pearlmillet varieties have been dropped at the Belle Glade station.


LITERATURE REFERENCES


1968 Sorghum-Sudangrass and Pearlmillet Variety Trials in Florida; Agronomy
Mimeo Report 69-6. Feb. 1969. p. 5, 6, 13.

1969 Sorghum-Sudangrass and Pearlmillet Variety Trials in Florida; Agronomy
Mimeo Report AG70-6. Mar. 1970. p. 5, 6, 11.

1970 Sorghum-Sudangrass and Pearlmillet Variety Trials in Florida; Agronomy
Mimeo Report AG71-5. Jan. 1971. p. 4, 7, 8.

Florida Field Crop Variety Report 1971; Agronomy Mimeo.Report AG72-5.
April 1972. p. 61, 62, 63.

Florida Field Crop Variety Report 1972; Agronomy Research Report AG73-3.
Feb. 1973. p. 49, 71, 72.

Florida Field Crop Variety Report 1973; Agronomy Research Report AG74-3.
Feb. 1974. p. 49, 50, 68, 69. (yields on p. 49 and 50 are 10 times too high)


EV-1975-6 200 copies






Table 1. SORGHUM-SUDAN VARIETY TRIALS BELLE GLADE Dry Weight Yields, 1000 lb per acre.


MATURE
1 CUT
1968 1969


1 CUT
1970


VEGETATIVE
3 CUTS
1971 1972


DeKalb
Taylor-Evans
Pioneer
Bingham


Dorman
Pennington
Funk


Asgrow


Asgrow
DeKalb
Frontier
McCurdy
Asgrow


ACCO
Rudy-Patrick
Niagara FMC
Pioneer
Geo. Warner


Funk
Excel
Haile-Dean
ACCO
Taylor-Evans
McNair


----6 Yr.----
SX-16
Haygrazer
988
Grofast

----5 Yr.----
Suregraze
Summergrazer
78 F

----4 Yr.----
Grazer S

----3 Yr.----
Grazer A
SX-12
Hi Dan 35
Sweet Graze
Grazer Al

Sweet Sioux
Mor-Su II
Sweet Chew
985
Gro-N-Graze

----2 Yr.----
83 F
Chowmaker
Green Gold
Sweet Sioux III
Grazemaster
711 A


BRAND


VARIETY


1 CUT
1973


6.3
6.5
6.5
6.3


6.1
6.6
5.8


2.8
2.5
2.1
1.9


2.3

2.1


8.9
6.7
7.6
9.4



7.4
8.2


7.3


6.4








8.4


7.4
6.0
5.8
4.7


7.5
5.9
5.8


7.5
6.0

5.0
5.9






7.2


3.9
3.5
3.5
3.2


3.8
4.0
3.5


4.4


3.7
4.4

3.5


3.4
3.5

3.7





3.6


11.1
11.2
10.0
10.2


10.4
9.2



12.0




8.9

10.6


12.6

8.6




13.3


11.3


7.0

6.3


6.8
6.9

7.1

6.2





- Dry Weight Yields, 1000 lb per acre.


Table 1. (Continued) SORGHUM-SUDAN VARIETY TRIALS BELLE GLADE


BRAND


Northrup-King
Funk
Northrup-King
ACCO
ACCO
Northrup-King


Excel
Funk
Excel
ACCO
O DeKalb
I


VARIETY
----2 Yr.----
Sordan 70
81 F
Sordan 67
Sweet Sioux II
S-99
Trudan 5


----1 Yr.----
Super Chowmaker 235
X 8123
Chowmaker C
X 8847
SX-15


Northrup-King
Caladino
DeKalb
Taylor-Evans
Funk

Asgrow
Frontier
Frontier
Asgrow
Funk

Conlee (H-D)
Excel
Niagara FMC
Excel
Asgrow
Rudy-Patrick


Sordan 70A
Greenlan
X 1905
XSS-1001
8010

Grazer N
Hi Dan 39
Hi Dan 39A
Astro
77 F


MATURE
1 CUT
1968 1969


m----
---
7.0








8.6





7.7





7.3

7.1
6.9


MV Mor Gain
Super Chowmaker
Hi Chew
Super Chowmaker C
Grazer N-l
Trudy G

Average


1 CUT
1970



3.5

---


6.6

---


3.9


--m--
----


5.9






5.3


6.2 3.7


VEGETATIVE
3 CUTS
1971 1972


10.5
11.0
--m--
----





11.4







10.7
10.7



10.5


10.7


6.5


5.8
5.7
6.1


3.0



2.4

2.3


5.5
5.2
4.7



6.2


1 CUT
1973





2.0
2.0
1.4







Table 2. PEARLMILLET VARIETY TRIALS BELLE GLADE Dry Weight Yields, 1000 lb per acre.


BRAND


Ga. Tifton
Excel
Rudy-Patrick
Dorman
Pennington


McCurdy
Northrup-King
Rudy-Patrick


Northrup-King
Pennington
Rudy-Patrick
Funk
Pennington
Excel


Funk
Tifton
Ga. Tifton
DeKalb
Excel
Pioneer
McCurdy


VARIETY
---4 Yr.---
Gahi 1
Mill-hy 99
Pearlex 24
Mil-hy 100
Hygrazer


---3 Yr.---
Greenex
Millex 22
Pearlex 21

---2 Yr.---
Millex 23
Milgrazer
Pearlex 28
Millet 111
Southgraze
Mil-hy 111

---1 Yr.---
F Hybrid 1
Tift 23DA X 186
Tiflate
Millet X-001
Mill-Hy 99A
PM 604
Greenex 89


1 CUT
1968 1969


10.0

8.2


8.5





8.7
---


7.2
6.2
7.1
5.4
4.9


8.1
6.2




6.1
5.1


5.7


1 CUT
1970


VEGETATIVE
3 CUTS
1971 1972


4.7
4.5
4.7



4.8



4.4


4.8
4.8
4.7



4.5


8.8 6.2 4.6


1 CUT
1973

3.0
2.9

2.4
2.4


1.7

2.2


2.8


2.2
2.4


6.6 2.4


Average






Table 3. Percent of nitrate and of in vitro organic matter digestibility for representative sorghum-sudan
varieties.


1972
machine harvest*
at same height

Days
34 39
P&H SOD


hand harvest
top 4-5 leaves
at 29 days
Inches
27 20
P&H SOD


machine harvest
at 39 days

Inches
60 43
P&H SOD


------------------------------------------------ -------------NO


Funk
DeKalb
Frontier
Asgrow
ACCO
. Excel


78F
Sudax SX-16
Hi-Dan 35
Grazer A-i
Sweet Sioux III
Chowmaker


Average


----------------------------IVOMD------------------------------


78F
Sudax SX-16
Hi-Dan 35
Grazer A-1
Sweet Sioux III
Chowmaker

Average


* Harvested by small plot flail harvester leaving stubble at 6 to 8 inches.


BRAND


VARIETY


3.22
2.66
2.77
3.05
2.95
4.07

3.12


1.75
1.17
0.73
1.36
1.26
1.32

1.26


1.88
1.97
2.22
2.33
1.93
2.84

2.20


1.12
1.58
0.94
1.33
1.18
1.33

1.25


Funk
DeKalb
Frontier
Asgrow
ACCO
Excel


2.75
2.55
2.61
2.34
2.56
3.05

2.64


1.29
1.64
1.26
1.35
0.91
1.63

1.35


66.97
61.66
61.51
62.02
59.49
58.24

61.65


65.07
60.65
59.81
61.20
59.54
56.63

60.50


75.49
75.29
76.85
74.52
74.26
73.23

74.94


76.73
76.02
74.73
75.29
76.07
73.99

75.47


65.07
62.87
65.64
66.56
65.71
62.50

64.72


68.94
65,51
68.29
68.60
69.91
68.69

68.32







- 3. X


Table 4. Percent of nitrate and of in vitro organic matter digestibility
for pearlmillet varieties in 1973*.


BRAND


Ga. A.E.S.
McCurdy
Excel
Dorman
Pennington

Rudy-Patrick
Northrup-King
Pennington
Funk
DeKalb


VARIETY


Gahi 1
Greenex
Mill Hy 99
Mill-Hy 100
Hygrazer

Pearlex
Millex 23
Southgraze
Millex III
Millet X-0001

Average


NO3
40 inches 30
PGH SOD


4.11
4.97
4.50
4.89
4.60

4.97
5.15
5.11
5.43
5.34

4.91


2.07
1.98
2.17
1.78
2.21

2.48
3.61
2.03
2.53
2.74

2.36


IVOMD
40 inches 30
P&H SOD


65.83
66.95
65.09
63.42
62.14

62.25
61.14
60.49
60.35
63.09

63.07


70.62
68.64
68.68
68.88
68.76

66.95
67.61
69.62
69.98
70.84

69.06


* Harvested by small plot flail
stubble at 6 to 8 inches.


harvester at 35 days after planting leaving




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