Sorghum may be getting renewed interest from agricultural producers in more arid regions of the U.S. As dairy operations have expanded into the Great Plains and further west, limited rainfall has producers questioning the long-term sustainability of relying on corn for feed. Sorghum is drought tolerant with higher water use efficiency compared to corn.

Producers in these drier regions use sorghum mostly to feed heifers or dry cows with lower nutritional requirements while still choosing corn for lactating cows. Dairy Management Inc. partnered with the sorghum checkoff in a research project at Texas A&M University to compare the two. The study looked at milk production from dairy cattle fed sorghum silage supplemented with corn grain and soybean meal compared to the production of cows fed corn silage. The study was sure to use forage sorghum that does not produce a viable grain head which could extend harvest windows while maintaining nutritional quality.

Read more about this checkoff-funded research here.