2016 texas panhandle forage sorghum silage .2016 texas panhandle forage sorghum silage trial

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    2016 Texas Panhandle Forage Sorghum Silage Trial Jourdan Bell, Ted McCollum, Ed Bynum,

    Ronnie Schnell, Dennis Pietsch, Preston Sirmon and Carla Naylor

    The 2016 Texas Panhandle Forage Sorghum Silage trial consisted of 99 forage sorghum entries, 2 grain sorghum checks and 2 corn hybrids. Corn hybrids were included as a silage standard for comparative purposes. Three forage sorghum entries were removed due to seed contamination. The 2016 trial results were strongly influenced by sugarcane aphid (SCA) pressure that was first identified in small colonies throughout the entire trial on August 1, 2016. SCAs were sprayed aerially (3 GPA) on August 9, 2016 with Transform (2 oz/ac) and on August 26, 2016 with Sivanto (6 oz/ac). SCA damage ratings were made on October 5, 2016 using the Texas A&M AgriLife SCA rating scale of Porter and Bynum. The trial was located with a cooperating producer (Mr. Michael Menke) under center pivot irrigation within a forage sorghum circle. Seed companies submitted forage sorghum hybrids on a per fee basis with the exception of the grain sorghum checks and corn hybrids. Each plot was harvested for forage yield when grain reached soft dough. Hybrids that had not reached soft-dough were all harvested on the last sampling date (October 25, 2016). Yield was determined from a 25 ft2 area (1 row by 10 ft.) within each plot, and a uniform sub-sample was chopped for nutritional composition. If possible, plants were harvested from a non-lodged portion of the plot to preserve forage quality. Lodging and plant height were recorded at harvest. A portion of the chopped forage was dried at 221F (105C) to determine harvest moisture. The remaining portion of the chopped forage was dried at 140F (60C) and submitted to Dairyland Laboratories, Arcadia, WI for forage analyses using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) for all samples. Forage constituents are reported on a dry matter (DM) basis. Grain yields were collected in November following forage harvest for select hybrids upon seed company request at the time of entry. Grain yields were reported to the USDA-Risk Management Agency to update the Loan Deficiency Payment Tables for forage sorghum hybrids. Cultural Practices: Location: Bushland, Texas (35.205836, 102.041460) Cooperator: Mr. Michael Menke Previous Crop: Fallow Soil Type: Pullman clay loam, pH 7.8 Planting Date: June 8, 2016 Planting Rate: 80,000 Seeds/Ac Irrigation: 10.8 inches (6/8/2016 - 9/6/2016) In-season Precipitation: 7.25 (6/8/2016 10/25/2016) Fertility: 107 lbs N/ac Herbicides: pre-plant application Atrazine (1.5 lbs a.i./ac) + glyphosate (16 oz/ac) Insecticide Applications (aerial at 3 gal/ac):

    8/9/2016 Transform 2 oz/ac 8/26/2016 Sivanto 6 oz/ac

    Plot Size: Four, 30 inch rows by 25 ft. Replications: 3; Study Design: Randomized Complete Block

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    Figure 1. Daily and cumulative in-season precipitation.

    The average yield of sorghum hybrids for forage was 23.0 tons/acre (Standard Dev 4.5; CV 20%) with photosensitive, non-BMR hybrids being greatest (Table 1). Yields ranged from 33.0 to 14.6 tons/acre for the individual hybrids (Table 3); however, when evaluating the performance of the top yielding hybrids there were no statistical differences between the top 44 hybrids with yields ranging from 23.4 to 33.0 tons/ac at the 0.05 probability level due to variation between plots (Table 3). While early season precipitation and optimal temperatures in addition to supplemental precipitation contributed to optimal yields, SCA infestation resulted in increased variability between plots. Due to the influence of SCAs on the forage yield potential, plots with a SCA rating greater than 6.5 and damage that was yield limiting were not included in the hybrid average. If possible, producers should evaluate hybrids based on several years of production data from multiple trial locations to capture differences in the growing season conditions. Forage characteristics contributing to nutritive and feeding values are shown in Tables 1-6. From the broad averages for different forage types shown in Table 1, the photoperiod sensitive types contain greater ADF and aNDF, while the BMR types on average contained lower digestible fractions. The BMR trait reduces lignin concentration in forage and, on average, lignin concentration was lower in BMRs than non-BMRs. BMR-PS forages had lower lignin values than the non-BMR PS forages (Table 1). Increased lignin reduces the fiber digestibility and energy density of forage. Differences in lignin concentration were reflected in the uNDFom240 (undigested NDF after fermentation for 240 hours; Table 1). Average starch content was lower for the PS hybrids because they do not produce grain. Corn plots were immature when harvested as reflected by the high harvest moisture (75% moisture) or low dry matter. All corn plots were harvested when grain was at the milk line (R5 growth stage). Early harvest terminated grain-fill resulting in reduced starch levels in corn silage.

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    Statistical analyses were completed using SAS 9.4. Adjusted least significant differences for multiple comparisons were determined using Tukeys HSD. Effects and comparisons were determined significant at the 0.05 probability level. The discussion above addresses broad averages for types of forage sorghums, grain sorghums evaluated as silage, and sorghum/sudangrass hybrids evaluated in the 2016 test. We recommended individual hybrids not be selected or disregarded based on the sorghum type nor based on the relative comparison among types. There is overlap among hybrids in these type categories. Evaluate the data based on the individual hybrid, not the forage type category. Texas A&M AgriLife Sugarcane Aphid Rating Scale: 0: no aphids or honey dew found 1: 10% of leaf area infested or damaged, colonies establishing on lower leaves or some honey dew visible on 2 or less leaves 2: 11-20% of leaf area infested or damaged 3: 21-30% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 4: 31-40% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 5: 41-50% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 6: 51-60% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 7: 61-70% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 8: 71-80% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 9: 81-90% of leaf area infested, damaged or dead 10: 91% of leaf area damaged to dead

    Forage Analyses defined: CP: Crude Protein ADF: Acid Detergent Fiber; a fraction of the cell wall includes cellulose and lignin, which is

    inversely related to energy availability aNDF: Neutral Detergent Fiber; cell wall fraction of the forage IVTDMD: In Vitro Dry Matter Digestibility; estimate of forage disappearance in the digestive tract NDFD: NDF digestibility; estimated fiber digestibility after the specified length of time (48 hrs.) uNDFom: Undigested NDF after fermentation for the specified length of time (240 hrs.) expressed

    on an organic matter basis (om) in order to account for the ash TDN: Total Digestible Nutrients (by Weiss equation) an index of energy concentration. RFQ: Relative Forage Quality - an index for comparing forages, not just alfalfa. RFQ is based

    on the same scoring system as RFV with an average score of 100; higher scores indicate better feeding value

    Milk/ton: An index based on several variables that influence intake and nutritive value. These are applied to a standard dairy cow to project milk produced per ton of forage.

    Acknowledgements: We greatly appreciate Mr. Michael Menke for his cooperation. Furthermore, we greatly appreciate the assistance Katrina Horn and Jonathan Moreno with seed preparation and planting, and Aislynn Walton, Cameron Bigelow and Daniel Tyrer for field notes, harvest assistance and sample processing.

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    Table 1. 2016 summary of key characteristics by sorghum type. *The number in parentheses represents the number of hybrids that make up each sorghum type. BMR= Brown Midrib, PS = Photoperiod Sensitive

    Sorghum Type* % Moisture at Harvest

    Avg Yield (tons/ac, 65%

    Moist.) % Lodging % CP % ADF % aNDF % Lignin % Starch % NDFD48 % uNDFom240 % IVTDMD48

    Relative Feed

    Quality (RFQ)

    Milk lbs/ton

    BMR (53) 21.7 21.7 16.8 7.1 33.9 52.4 5.0 15.6 49.8 25.2 72.8 107 3100Non-BMR (43) 24.5 24.5 11.4 6.1 37.4 56.6 5.9 12.5 44.4 30.3 67.3 86 2863Test Average 19.2 23.0 14.4 6.6 35.5 54.3 5.5 14.1 47.4 27.6 70.3 98 2992

    Non-BMR non-PS (38) 67.5 24.1 11.4 6.4 36.3 54.8 5.8 14.1 44.8 29.3 68.4 91 2937Non-BMR PS (5) 69.4 27.7 10.7 4.1 45.3 69.5 6.8 0.5 42.2 38.1 58.9 50 2311

    BMR Non-PS (48) 68.5 21.4 17.4 7.3 33.4 51.4 5.0 16.5 49.9 24.7 73.3 110 3133BMR PS (5) 70.0 24.8 10.7 4.8 38.9 62.6 5.2 6.2 48.9 30.2 67.4 82 2784

    Non-Brachytic (83) 68.2 23.1 12.7 6.4 35.9 55.1 5.5 13.3 46.7 28.2 69.5 94.6 2966Brachytic (13) 68.9 22.0 25.0 6.6 32.4 49.1 4.8 20.3 51.9 22.8 75.4 119 3174

    Grain Sorghum Checks (2) 19.2 19.2 0.0 9.0 26.0 37.6 4.8 31.0 51.4 12.5 80.3 174 3751Corn (2) With Ear 19.5 19.5 0.0 7.6 27.8 44.9 4.0 13.8 52.5 13.2 77.1 137 3486

    Corn (2) Without Ear 23.0 ---- 8.2 34.4 53.9 5.0 2.2 47.5 15.0 69.7 95 2972The test average is the average of forage entries not including the grain sorghum checks or corn. Corn samples were processed from all replicaons with and without the ear for both hybrids.

    by Photoperiod Response*

    Grain Sorghum Checks and Corn Entries

    by Brachytic Trait*

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    Table 2. 2016 comparison of agronomic characteriscs, yield and lodging. Hybrid informaon was provided by seed companies. Male sterile entries were pollinated by other hybrids. FS=Forage Sorghum, SS=Sorghum Sudan, SU=Sudangrass, GS=Grain Sorghum. Means followed by the same letter do not significantly differ using LSD (0.05).

    Entry Hybrid HybridSorghum

    Type MaturityBrown Midrib Brac


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