PRESS BULLETIN 219
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
SORGHUM FOR HOG PASTURE
/ BY J. M. SCOTT f
SIt should not be expected that sorglum pasture will supply all of the feed
necessary to keep hogs in a good growing condition. There are few, if any,
green pasture crops that will do this. : To get the best results from green pas-
ture crops they should be supplemented with a grain crop of some kind.
By having two fields of sorghum, and planting one field two to four weeks
earlier than the other, continuous pasturage may be secured from early spring
until frost kills the sorghum in the fall.
To be able to give the crop some cultivation, plant in rows three feet apart
and from two to four inches apart in the drill. The planting may be done with
the ordinary one-horse corn drill. It will be necessary to use a drill -plate with
eight or ten holes. The holes should be about three-sixteenths of an inch in di-
ameter. Care should be taken not to cover the seed more than an inch deep.
Sorghum seed may be planted at any time from early in March until August.
The spring plantings will give larger yields per acre than the summer plantings.
Some prefer to sow the seed broadcast and cover it with a harrow. This
method' can be used, but it will require considerably more seed per acre than
when planted in rows, and the yield per acre will be less.
SThere are a number of varieties of sorghum that do well under Florida
conditions, and perhaps there is not much choice as to which to select'to plant
for summer pasture. Any one of the following three varieties may be used: :
Gooseneck, Orange, or Sumac.
Sorghum is a gross feeder, requires a large quantity of plant food, and is
not particular as to the source. When the crop is to be used only as a green
Febrd~aryl, 14 1914~
pasture, perhaps the most important fertilizer is ammonia. This can be sup-
plied in the form of dried blood, or sulphate of ammonia. The following form-
ula ought to give satisfactory results:
A m m onia.. ................................ ...................4 per cent,
Available phosphoric acid.............................4 per cent,
Potash .................. .............. .... .........4 per cent.
This should be applied at the rate of 400 or 500 pounds per acre a week or
ten days before planting the seed.
At the time of the first cultivation, or when the young plants are about
two inches high, it will be found a good plan to make an application of nitrate
of soda at the rate of about 100 pounds per acre. Sorghum is a slow growing
plant at first, and a little nitrate of soda will hasten the growth materially.
PASTURING THE CROP
Sorghum can be pastured at almost any stage of growth after it has
reached a height of twelve or fifteen inches. It will, however, contain more
real feeding value for stock after it has headed out and when the seed is in the
dough stage. At this stage, however, it is too hard and woody for young hogs.
State papers please copy.