Sorghum-Sudangrass for Feed and Fuel

Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids are options for grazing livestock and may be a possibility for biomass production.  Yield and quality were comparable to corn silage. Yields ranged from 26,253-43,346 lbs. dry matter per acre.  The energy levels ranged from 7206-7535 BTU’s per pound of dry matter comparative to switchgrass.  The varieties have potential as summer forage and a biomass crop to provide renewable energy.

Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids are warm-season annual forages that look like sudangrass in growth but are generally taller, with larger stems and leaves.  They are bred for productivity, high yields and can grow to 15 feet in height without lodging.  Sorghum-sudangrass can be grazed, green chopped, baled for hay, silage, haylage, cover and green manure.   Another emerging option is to use this summer annual as a biomass fuel.  Renewable energy has become recognized as a viable source of fuel, and sorghum-sudangrasshas potential for use in cellulosic ethanol production, and is an option as a renewable fuel.  A concern for farmers considering biomass production has been the lack of a guaranteed market at a fair price for the sale of these forages.  A crop that can have multiple options for farmers and be used for biomass production may increase demand for renewable energy crops.