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Cover Crop Series: 400 BMR Forage Sorghum

Jim Johnson

By Jim Johnson
Senior Soils and Crops Consultant

Posted Nov. 9, 2017

400 BMR Forage Sorghum is a member of the Sorghum genus, which tends to include very similar members. One trait that sets it apart is the brown midrib genetics, which leads to reduced lignin. It is medium in height and early to medium in maturity when compared to others in the Sorghum genus. Like most other members of the Sorghum genus, the plant is heat- and drought-tolerant and an excellent scavenger of soil nutrients – especially nitrogen. It can carry a risk of prussic acid and is susceptible to sugar cane aphids. Some claim that plants in the Sorghum genus are hard to burn down, possibly due to their height at maturity. We have not experienced problems with that. Seeding rate was 27 pounds per acre.

The plots were drill planted in 7.5 inch rows in a clean-tilled and culti-packed seedbed on May 16, 2017 at the Noble Research Institute Headquarters Farm in Ardmore, Oklahoma on a Weatherford fine sandy loam. Planting depth was shallow, about 0.5 inch, in a dry seedbed and 2.33 inches of rain fell over the next three days. There was no fertilizer, insecticide, or herbicide applied to the crops and pigweed pressure in the field was very heavy. Rainfall was below average after establishment.

About the Cover Crop Series

The Noble Research Institute is testing dozens of cover crop species with potential to help build soil health in the Southern Great Plains. This series features the cover crops we've grown on our Headquarters Farm in southern Oklahoma. These videos explore our results on establishment and growth, ground cover potential, and weed control for each crop.