The official magazine of the World Ag Expo 2013 contains a three-page spread about sorghum research being conducted at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center by Jeff Dahlberg, director of the center.
Copies of the magazine will be available to visitors at the world's largest agricultural exposition Feb. 12-14 in Tulare. A pdf of the sorghum article is attached below.
"We've come a long way from what your father or grandfather grew as sorghums years ago," Dahlberg said. "It's to the point now that we can compete with corn silage on both quality and tonnage."
In addition, Dahlberg said, sorghum uses from a third to half the water of corn silage, needs less nitrogen to produce the same yield, and has greater salt tolerance.
Carol Frate, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County, told reporter Chris Bennett she is unsure of the precise role of sorghum for farmers.
"I'm looking at input costs and comparing them to yield potential and quality for milking cows," Frate said. "I would be a bit leery of the forage sorghums that grow so tall because of lodging issues. We've had some growers experimenting with them and then having 20 or 40 acres of sorghum that is pretty flat."
Sorghum is widely used in the western Panhandle of Texas, where dairies are turning to sorghum because of water issues.
"They're not losing very much by switching over and they have been pretty happy with forage sorghums," Dahlberg said.