Date of this Version
The variation among 49 F1 forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.] hybrids from a 7 X 7 cross-classified design was explored in 1979 and 1980 for the following silage traits: dry matter (DM), crude protein, in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, acid detergent lignin, ammonia, lactate, and Brix of the juice from fresh stalks. Wider ranges generally were found for male than for female parental means. Means for most traits were significantly different among entries. Significant differences among hybrid means over males and over females were found for only DM, IVDMD, and Brix. Interactions with years existed for most traits. Genetic ratios calculated from the mean squares indicated that general combining ability was important for DM, IVDMD, and Brix. Simple correlation coefficients between traits measured on silage and on fresh-dried samples from the same hybrids were all significant. In view of the effort required to make and evaluate silage samples, initial selection for traits used to estimate quality in fresh-dried samples appears to be the best approach for improving the quality of forage sorghum silage.