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Silage, grazing hybrids to be showcased

Event sponsors include Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Texas Cooperative Extension, units of the Texas A&M University System Agriculture Program.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends by 11:30 a.m. Travel one-half mile north of Bushland on Jim Line Road and to the test sites, which are part of the James Bush Farm, a field laboratory operated by the Experiment Station's Amarillo headquarters.

The event includes presentations by Ted McCollum, Extension beef cattle specialist; Wayne Greene, Experiment Station beef cattle nutritionist; and Brent Bean, Extension and Experiment Station agronomist.

Long-term grazing studies, started in 1999, involve many types of sorghum-sudan grass hybrids. Current tests include the new brown mid-rib and photoperiod sensitive varieties. Results have shown stocker cattle gains have consistently been above 2.25 pounds per day with several selections under study.

Discussions will feature stocking rates and frequency, gains per acre, seeding rates and other cultural practices, using mineral supplements, comparisons of brown mid-rib versus conventional hybrids, and strategies to avoid nitrate and prussic acid problems. Other topics include an overview of photosensitive hybrids and their role in grazing regimes.

Three years of forage sorghum silage trials include over 90 hybrids. Most varieties will fit a producer's hay or silage needs. Several are high yielders, others produce little grain.

"Participants can see all the hybrids up close," Bean added. Presenters will cover sorghum varieties for tonnage or for quality. Sorghum silage production requires less water than corn.

By comparing a wide range of varieties, Bean said, silage users and growers can make selections for silage crops that approach the value of corn. Producers will also hear tips on managing their operations to include increased hay and silage production. Water use efficiency will be addressed, as well as ways to reduce phosphorus buildup in soils from manure application by using selected sorghum-sudan hybrids.

For more information, contact Bean at (806) 677-5600, or a local Extension office.


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