Forage Sorghum

forage1Plants in the sorghum family contain a toxic substance called prussic acid. Sulphur is the major mineral stock require to detoxify prussic acid and to reduce the risk of cyanide poisoning.

 

Because forage sorghum has a low sulphur content the animal draws on its own reserves of sulphur to help detoxify the prussic acid and when those reserves are depleted, the stock will decrease its intake of the forage.

 

Sulphur is essential for rumen health and the formation of amino acids – the building blocks of protein. Sulphur deficiency can reduce rumen microbe activity and lead to poor growth.

 

Sodium in the form of salt is a critical factor in appetite, but as its content in sorghum crop is fairly low, so a bit of salt in the diet is likely to increase intake of these crops.

 

Farmers often notice that when stock are grazing sorghum, they would avoid certain parts of the crop such as stalks and bottom leaves where higher levels of prussic acid are present.

 

For stock grazing forage sorghum supplementing with additional sulphur and sodium can provide a significant positive response in both intake and productivity as well as the sorghum paddock being better utilised, including subsequent regrowth.

 

Trials have shown that providing sulphur to stock grazing sorghum crops can increase daily weight gain by as much as 300-500 grams per day.

 

A lack of the major minerals sulphur and sodium can limit intake and productivity when stock are grazing forage sorghum or sorghum stubble.

 

Sodium in the form of salt is a critical factor in appetite, but as its content in sorghum crop is fairly low, a bit of salt in the diet is likely to increase intake of these crops.

 

Sulphur is an important ingredient in some amino acids (the building blocks of protein), but is also the major mineral involved in the body's detoxifying process.

 

Plants in the sorghum family tend to contain a toxic substance called prussic acid, and they also have a low sulphur content.

 

When grazing forage sorghum, the animal draws on its own reserves of sulphur to detoxify the prussic acid. When those reserves are depleted, the animal will decrease its intake of the forage.

 

This was one of the practical pieces of advice provided by consulting nutritionist Vincent Posada to the 700 farmers who attended the 2010 AgSolutions Livestock Nutrition Roadshow throughout NSW and Queensland.

 

Vincent said farmers often noticed that when stock were grazing sorghum, they would avoid certain parts of the crop such as stalks and bottom leaves where higher levels of prussic acid are present.

 

He recommended that stock grazing forage sorghum be supplemented with sulphur and sodium, and there was every likelihood of getting a significant positive response including an increase in both intake and productivity, as well as the sorghum paddock being better utilised, including subsequent regrowth.

 

AgSolutions caters for this need with MegaMin Extra Sulphur which includes all of the key macro and trace minerals, plus more sulphur to help stock detoxify prussic acid, and increase appetite.

 

For best results, it is important to start feeding MegaMin Extra Sulphur two to three weeks prior to grazing forage sorghum and stubbles.

 

 

 

Why supplementing with MegaMin Extra Sulphur assists stock grazing forage sorghum

 

MegaMin Extra Sulphur provides key macro and trace minerals, plus additional sulphur.

 

Prussic acid contained in forage sorghum can actually limit the intake of fodder, resulting in lower weight gains for cattle grazing forage sorghum and other sorghum varieties. While forage sorghum is being digested in the rumen, prussic acid or hydrogen cyanide may be released. This can be fatal, however, more commonly it may be sub-clinically present at low levels, which can greatly reduce fodder intake and weight gains.

 

Feeding MegaMin Extra Sulphur is the key to assist stock to perform at their peak condition. As well as providing broad spectrum minerals and trace minerals, the addition of extra Sulphur can assist to detoxify Prussic acid and increase appetite. For best results, it is important to start feeding MegaMin Extra Sulphur two to three weeks prior to grazing forage sorghum and stubbles.

 

Trials have shown that providing additional sulphur can increase daily weight gains by as much as 300-500 grams per day. Stock are able to graze more stalk and stem as a result of the inclusion of sulphur, resulting in better utilisation of the plant and subsequent regrowth.

Extra weight gain

Manager of Ballandean Station, Mr David Blackwood is a strong advocate for supplementing with MegaMin Extra Sulphur at strategic times of the year. For several seasons they've seen benefits.

“Steers grazing Silk Sorghum with access to MegaMin Extra Sulphur not only grazed the Sorghum to the ground, but ended up over weight for our intended feedlot market” Read more>