Date of this Version
American Forage and Grassland Council Meeting, March 29-31, 1993, Des Moines, Iowa. Proceedings 1993. v. 2
Tropical sorghum and sorghum x sudangrass are known to be efficient scavengers of soil nitrogen and are important forage crops in the U.S. Nitrate contamination of groundwater due to disposal of organic wastes and excessive fertilization is a major concern in the Central Great Plains. A common disposal method of municipal wastes is application to fallow cropland. Quantification of the developmental morphology of tropical sorghum and sorghum x sudangrass is important to developing management strategies that allow multiple applications of organic wastes to optimize nitrogen removal and dry matter production. The objective of this study was to quantify the developmental morphology of tropical sorghum and sorghum x sudangrass irrigated at levels approximating transpiration and evaporative demand. Tropical sorghum mean stage by count (MSC) was 33% lower than MSC for sorghum x sudangrass in September. Leaf-to-stem ratio was greater for tropical sorghum than sorghum x sudangrass throughout most of the growing season. Dry matter per plant was as much as 30% greater for sorghum x sudangrass, although values were nearly equal at the end of the growing season.