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  • 1 August Cieszkowski-Agricultural University of Poznań Department of Grassland Sciences Poznań Poland
  • 2 August Cieszkowski-Agricultural University of Poznań Department of Animal Feeding and Feed Management Poznań Poland
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The objective of this research project was to determine the chemical composition of sugar sorghum ( Sorghum saccharatum ) and the suitability of sorghum forage for ensiling, and to recommend an optimal cultivation technology in order to obtain raw material for the production of high quality silage. The object used for comparison was a medium late cultivar of Zea mays , Magister (FAO 270), characterised as the “stay green” type, which is desirable if good quality forage and silage is to be obtained under the conditions prevailing in Poland. The experiment was set up in the years 2004–2005 on a soil suitable for the cultivation of these crops. The experimental material consisted of four cultivation combinations chosen on the basis of our current knowledge on the subject. The results show sugar sorghum to be an interesting fodder plant, characterised by favourable biological and chemical properties. Sorghum cultivation provides nutritionally valuable forage and important silage material. Irrespective of the experimental combination employed, the sorghum plants gave good quality silage, as confirmed by their chemical composition and digestibility. Sugar sorghum should be treated as a fodder grass complementary to maize. The different stem morphological structures of sorghum and maize may cause differences in the quality assessment of the silage obtained from the two crops. The various cultivation treatments failed to diversify the chemical composition of the sorghum forage and silage. Therefore, the mode of cultivation is of secondary importance and the decisive factor is the yield of the aboveground parts.

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