Productivity and feed quality of Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.) and sweet sorghum forms

S. Enchev*

Agricultural Institute, 3 Simeon Veliki, 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 24 August 2020; accepted for publication 22 February 2021)

Abstract. During the period 2017-2018, the feed quality and productivity of three Sudan grass varieties – Endje 1, Vercors and Super Sweet, one stabilized Sudan grass population – SWT, local sweet sorghum – „Zaharna metla“ population and the sweet sorghum cultivar “Shumensko sladko” were researched in Agricultural Institute – Shumen. Green mass (t/ha), dry matter (%) and dry mass production (%) as well as basic nutritional characteristics by the two swaths of the tested cultivars in brooming phase were controlled. It was found that the sweet sorghum cultivar “Shumensko sladko” gave the highest amount of green mass – 59.5 t/ha by two swaths, and the dry mass yield was the highest from the cultivar Endje 1 – 20.8 t/ha. In terms of chemical composition, the greatest variation was demonstrated in phosphorus content (0.369-0.696%, CV=27.3%), followed by crude fat (1.28-2.39%, CV=26.8%), Ca (0.889-1.572%, CV=21.8%), crude protein (6.05-9.00%, CV=14.6%), nitrogen free extracts (42.05-51.20%, CV=7.6%), crude fiber (32.64-39.26%, CV=6.1%) and mineral substances (8.17-9.61%, CV=5.9%). It can be summarized that all hybrids provide quality hay, however the Bulgarian cultivars Endje 1 and “Shumensko sladko” showed the best nutritional value – compared to Super Sweet, Vercors, SWT and “Zaharna metla”.