Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

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Introduction of fodder Sorghum (Jowar)

Name of the CropSorghum (Jowar)
Scientific NameSorghum bicolor (L.)
FamilyPoaceae
Origin countrySudan, Ethiopia, and West Africa
KingdomPlantae
Major Indian states growing SorghumMaharashtra, Karnataka, MP, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat & Andhra Pradesh

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Importance of Sorghum (Jowar) crop

  • In the India and rest world, Sorghum (Jowar) is mainly used as grain for human food, and as green fodder, dry fodder (hay) & silage as animal feed
  • The area under Sorghum (Jowar) in India is about 50-55 lakh hectares and production is  about 48-50 MT in the year 2021-22.
  • Dairy animals are the backbone of the entire dairy industry and the basic requirement of animals is nutritious green fodder.
  • Animal feed cost contribute about 60 to 70 percent of the cost of milk production. This cost can be reduced by producing more green fodder per unit land by feeding the animals and getting more milk production.
  • Apart from reducing the cost of producing green fodder, it provides carotene, probiotics, and minerals to the animal. By which the health and disease resistance of the animal increases. Thus, compared to other fodder crops, Sorghum (Jowar) fodder is superior in fodder quality as it contains more nutrients than other fodder crops.
  • Cattle always prefer green fodder, dry fodder or silage. This crop can withstand water scarcity as well as withstand high rainfall. Also, this crop can be grown in all three seasons namely monsoon, winter, and summer.
  • In addition, this  Sorghum (Jowar) can grow in saline soils also. Thus, Sorghum (Jowar) fodder has the highest importance among all green forages.
  • Sorghum (Jowar) fodder is popular among farmers in terms of production as well as quality.

Also Read…Drumstick Farming (Moringa)


Important Characteristics of high-yielding fodder Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Sweet & juicy pulp and rich in solutes.
  • Tall and tender varieties for higher production of dry matter.
  • Varieties that are palatable to animals and easily digestible.
  • Varieties with maximum budding ability can be harvested more often and produce more in a short period of time.
  • Disease and pest-resistant varieties.
  • Medium late maturing varieties.
  • Varieties with maximum seed production.
  • Should contain less HYDROCYANIC ACID (HCN).
  • Nitrate toxicity should be negligible.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Land preparation for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Deep plowing of 10 to 15 cm by a tractor.
  • After that, plowing with cultivator will fill the soil and make the field flat.
  • If possible, mix 5 tones of manure or compost per hectare into the soil before plowing.

Also Read…SILAGE-GREEN FODDER PICKLE FOR CATTLE


Sorghum (Jowar) varieties

  • Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) varieties may differ from state to state, however, suitable varieties recommended by Agriculture University in that area can be sown for higher green fodder production.
  • Following popular varieties may be sown as per suitability of the area.
Pant Chari-6 (UPMC-503)COFS- 29Gujarat Fodder Sorghum 5 (GFS 5)
Proagro Chari (SSG-988)Pant Chari-5 (UPFS- 32)Pusa Chari Hybrid-109 (PCH-109)
Pusa Chari-615Gujarat Fodder Sorghum 6 (GFS 6)Ruchira Maldandi
PCH-106 (Hybrid)Haryana Jowar-513 (S-513)CSH-20-MF (UPMCH-1101)

Sowing time for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Sowing in the first fortnight of June immediately after adequate rainfall and
  • If irrigation is available can lead to better and higher yields and minimize pest damage.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Seed treatment of Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Sowing the seeds without providing care results in less number of plants and also increases the damage caused by insects and fungal diseases.
  • Before sowing, Sorghum (Jowar) seeds are treated with Thiamethoxam 70 WS, 2 grams or Carbosulfan 25 SP 170 g or Imidacloprid 70 WS 10 grams per kg seed should be treated and then sown.
  • Seed treatment reduces the damage caused by stem borer, caterpillar, sucking pests, leaf miner, and fungus-borne diseases and helps in increasing plant height and early maturity.

Seed Rate for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • 40 to 50 kg seeds are required per hectare.

Sowing Spacing-Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Sowing the seeds at a distance of 30 cm spacing between two rows with drilling method.

Thinning and Gap Filling for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • In order to get more production, thinning should be carried out to maintain the number of plants per unit area.
  • Where the number of plants is more than one, keep ONLY one and uproot the rest plants.

Water requirement for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • If the rainfall is sufficient and well distributed during the Kharif season, there is no need for irrigation in the Sorghum (Jowar)
  • However, if the monsoon is late and there is a shortage of moisture, the yield is increased by giving irrigation at the flowering stage and
  • If there is convenience give irrigation at the grain filling stage.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Chemical fertilizers for Sorghum (Jowar) per hectare

  • Sorghum (Jowar) is known as a soil nutrient-absorbing crop, as its roots are mainly spread in the upper 25 cm layer (67%). So it absorbs nutrients from the upper surface of the soil.
  • Also, since its roots and stems are complex, the carbon-nitrogen coefficient becomes wider, not only does the target nitrogen in the soil become unavailable during tillering, but the nutrient requirement of Sorghum (Jowar) also increases. Proportionate use of chemical fertilizers can increase production.
  • 120:60:00 kg Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash per hectare are recommended in Sorghum (Jowar) crop.
  • Base application: All phosphorus (130 kg DAP) and 33.33% Nitrogen in the form of Urea 70 kg should be given in the base.
  • Top Dressing: Apply the first top dressing 70 kg urea at 30 days after sowing, when the crop reaches  knee height stage and the second top dressing of 70 kg urea at tillering stage.

Also Read…Pomegranate Farming 


Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Organic Fertilizers for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Addition of organic fertilizers is essential to improve soil physical properties such as drainage capacity, aeration, soil compaction, moisture retention capacity, etc., which are considered key to soil productivity and also to maintain soil nutrient availability and microbial activity in the soil.
  • Organic fertilizers do not compete with chemical fertilizers but complement them. Organic fertilizers also add micro and secondary nutrients. So the question of adding subtle and secondary nutriens is also partially solved.
  • Hence it is recommended to add 5 tonnes of Farm yard manure per hectare.
  • If manure is not available in sufficient quantity, liquid manure, vermicompost, dung gas slurry or press mud can be used.
  • If late winter Sorghum (Jowar) is to be sown, green manuring can also be done from the beginning of the monsoon.

Sulfur and Micro Nutrients for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • High-yielding crop varieties are likely to be deficient in sulfur and trace/micronutrients due to negligible use of organic fertilizers in crop cultivation and use of only pure high-grade chemical fertilizers.
  • If the soil is deficient in sulfur and micro nutrients, ferrous sulfate and zinc sulfate at 20 kg/ha are recommended to use as a foundation.

Inter culturing and Weed control for Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Weed infestation is less due to close spacing in  fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Cultivation. For weed control in Sorghum (Jowar) crops, when the crop is 25 to 30 days old and the soil is wet, intercropping and hand weeding once or twice is to be carried out.
  • Crop rotation should be done instead of sowing Sorghum (Jowar) continuously in the same field year after year.

Crop Protection (Disease and Pest Control) for Sorghum (Jowar)

The problems of Sorghum (Jowar) pests are increasing due to changes in agricultural crops, geographical conditions, climatic factors, monocultures, excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers, and indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Various pests cause damage to the Sorghum (Jowar) crop during its different stages. Here, major leaf-damaging pests of Sorghum (Jowar), detailed information on their identification, damage, and how to manage it is given below.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Sorghum (Jowar) Pests:

(1) Shoot fly- Atherigona varia soccata

Identification:

  • Eggs are white in color, Cylindrical, flat, and near to leaf surface.
  • Adult white fly is white and light gray in color

Damage to crop:

  • A fly is smaller than a housefly in the early stage of the Sorghum (Jowar) crop up to six leaves and lays eggs on leaves.
  • The maggot bore and enter inside the stem and cut the developing plant from below. So central shoot dry, which is called dead heart.
  • Around such damaged shoots many new tillers are seen emerging, which later develop and do not get enough production.

Shoot Fly management:

  • Always sow resistant varieties.
  • Early sowing of Sorghum (Jowar) reduces the incidence of this pest.
  • As the infestation is more common in late planting of Sorghum (Jowar), so seeds were treated with Thiamethoxam 70 W. S. 2 grams or Carbosulfan 25 S. P. 170 g or Imidacloprid 70 WS, 10 grams per kg seed immediately after sowing can reduce infestation.
  • The number of plants can be maintained by keeping high seed rate (12.5 kg/ha) in the direct sowing of Sorghum (Jowar).
  • If needed, Imidacloprid 200 SL 5 ml  mix in 10 liters of water and spray it 12 days after germination.
  • Plow immediately after harvest to destroy old crop residues.

Also Read…Frequently asked questions-PADDY


(2) Stem borer, Chilo partellus

Identification:

  • Stem borer eggs are flattened, ellipsoidal in appearance like scaly mites, and are found in masses on the underside of leaves near the main vein.
  • Caterpillars are yellowish and have brown heads.
  • Whereas, larva is medium in size and straw in color and white-winged.

Damage to crop:

  • The infestation of this pest is seen from the beginning of the crop till harvesting.
  • In the early stages, the caterpillar burrows into the pulp and cuts off the main yolk.
  • In the middle stage of Sorghum (Jowar), caterpillars enter the stem and eat the inside.
  • At the tillering stage, this caterpillar also enters the stem and causes damage.

Stem borer Management

  • Crop residue and straw should be destroyed, so as to destroy the dormant stage of the pests.
  • Sow one line of Indian bean crop as an inter-crop after every four lines of Sorghum (Jowar).
  • For pest survey use light cages.
  • Fungicides such as Trichogramma minutum, Bracon calanensis and Epenthelis flavipes have been found to be effective as a biological agent.
  • For control of stem borer, use chemical insecticides Phorate 10g or Carbofuran 3g granular, 10 kg mixing with 40 kg sand per hectare
  • For control of stem borer chemical insecticide Imidacloprid 200 SL, 5 ml mix in 10 liters of water and spray, when the crop is 12 days old.
  • Since a dead heart is easily removed, it can be extracted and used as fodder or compost.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

(3) Ear head eating Pests

These caterpillars are mostly found in hybrid varieties.

(a) Earhead bug: Calocoris angustatus

Identification:

  • Eggs are pale yellow in color, round and loosely covered.
  • Caterpillars are greenish or brown in color and lined with white with dark brown parallel lines.
  • While adult has light yellow or brown color of medium size and greenish or light brown colored wings with large black corners.

Damage:

  • The caterpillars of this pest eat the milky seeds that develop in the ear head.
  • Damaged ear head appears white and half-eaten.

Ear head Bug Management:

  • Deep plowing in summer.
  • Keep the main fields clean.
  • At night time use 2 to 3 light trap/ha during the pests dormant stage.
  • Set 5 pheromone traps per hectare for green caterpillars control.
  • Place 10 to 12 wooden supports for birds to sit in the field.
  • For control of green caterpillars use recommended NPV 6×108 (POB)
  • Use BT powder 500 g/ha.
  • Profenofos 40 EC, 20 ml mixes with 10 liters of water and spray twice at an interval of 10 days.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

(b) Sorghum (Jowar) midge: Contarinia sorghicola

Identification:

  • The adult fly is very small in size, with a soft, bright orange abdomen and transparent wings.

Damage:

  • A very small fly lays eggs inside the grain during the milky stage.
  • The caterpillars that emerge from it live inside the grain and eat it. Hence the grain does not develop.
  • Grains do not sit well in such ear heads.
  • Sometimes, if all the seeds of such ear head are infested, the production of grains is not obtained.

 Sorghum (Jowar) midge Management:

  • Burn or bury infested leaves and dried corms in deep pits.
  • Where Sorghum (Jowar) is grown for fodder in the summer, it should be cut and fed to cattle. The same variety should be sown simultaneously in the same area and early sowing can also reduce the infestation of these pests.
  • Sow in the first fortnight of September for winter crops.
  • Spray Profenofos 40 EC, 50 ml mix in 10 liters of water at 50% flowering stage and spray it again after 10 days.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Sorghum (Jowar) Disease:

(1) Leaf spot disease:

  • There are different leaf spot diseases in Sorghum (Jowar). The main diseases are caused by Helminthosporium/Carcospora and Colletroticum.

Damage stage: This disease is found on the leaves of the plant at every stage of crop growth.

Management:

  • Spray Mancozeb 27 g mixed with 10 liters of water on infected plants.

(2) Stem Rot

  • This disease is spread by fungus through the soil.
  • Disease-susceptible varieties and species with favorable climates produce the disease as parasites.
  • Low soil moisture, warm climate, well-drained soil, high moisture before flowering, low moisture after flowering etc. are favorable for diseases.
  • Plants die in early stage of crop.
  • While in the older stage, no symptoms are seen. It brings early maturity. Ear head remains weak.
  • Affected plants are weak and hollow inside and easily fall off. On which a lot of small black webs appear to be produced.

Damage stage: Plants die at early stage of growth.

Management:

  • Sow disease resistant varieties.
  • Crop rotation of Sorghum (Jowar) with other crops.
  • Maintain soil moisture by intercropping.
  • Do not give high nitrogenous fertilizers.
  • Use thirum fungicides 4.5 to 5.0 kg/ha in furrows at sowing can reduce the infestation of disease.

Integrated control

  1. Destroy the residues of the previous crop and deep plowing in hot summer.
  2. Crop rotation.
  3. Select disease free seeds.
  4. Timely sowing of crop.
  5. To remove honeydew from the seeds, soak the seeds in salt solution, remove the floating seeds, wash with clean water and dry them for sowing.
  6. Seed treatment with sulfur or mercury based fungicides before sowing the seeds. (4 to 5 grams for 1 kg of seeds).
  7. Remove and destroy diseased plants.
  8. Apply 5 kg of Thirum per hectare in the soil at the time of sowing to control stem rot.
  9. After two months of sowing Mancozeb should be sprayed three times at an interval of 20-25 days to control leaf spot disease.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Key points for obtaining economically higher production of kharif Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Timely sowing.
  • Crop spacing of 30 cm between two rows for kharif fodder Sorghum (Jowar).
  • Give Chemical Fertilizer Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potash @ 120-60-00 kg/ha.
  • Maintain the number of plants per unit.
  • Intercropping according to weather conditions to prevent cracks in the soil due to moisture retention.
  • Select and sow improved varieties suited to the local area.
  • Keep the crop blight free.
  • Use of organic and organic fertilizers.
  • Timely crop protection measures.
  • Harvest the crop at maturity.

Also Read…Basic Steps of Organic Farming, Methods and Benefits


Important points to consider while harvesting fodder Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Feeding fodder Sorghum (Jowar) to animals’ causes’ death due to high levels of a toxic substance called hydrocyanic acid. Such incidents are frequent and the herdsmen suffer financially. It is very important for the animal breeders to know how and when to feed the Sorghum (Jowar) green fodder to the animal.
  • Cyanide toxicity in Sorghum (Jowar) is highest at 4-5 days after germination of Sorghum (Jowar) and the first leaf of the plant has the highest concentration. Its quantity usually remains harmful for 45 days and then its quantity decreases. Based on research, it has been found that cutting fodder Sorghum (Jowar) at 50% of the total time of arrival is not harmful to animals and more nutrients are available in green forage harvested at this stage. Hence this stage is best for harvesting. Delaying harvest increases the fiber content and reduces the digestibility of nutrients as well as the nitrogen content. In multi cropping Sorghum (Jowar), the first cropping should be done in two months and every subsequent cropping should be done in 45-50 days.
  • Green Sorghum (Jowar) is high in hydrocyanic acid and when such Sorghum (Jowar) is fed to cattle, the enzyme present in it is activated by digestion in the first rumen of the animal and reacts with the cyanogenic glucosides in Sorghum (Jowar) to release hydrocyanic acid and its effect results in the death of the animal. The amount of cyanogenic glucoside in green Sorghum (Jowar) is 200 ppm. Sorghum (Jowar) in excess of 0.02 per cent, when fed to cattle is injurious to the animal and often fatal. The cyanogenic glucoside content of Sorghum (Jowar) that has been seeded is minimal and does not adversely affect feeding to livestock. Sorghum (Jowar) plants that are 6 feet tall or taller are not harmed by animal feeding. But Sorghum (Jowar) plants that are short in height (thick), slow growing, and in the post-harvest tender stage are more likely to cause losses when fed to livestock. Sorghum (Jowar) plants remain small due to lack of water and feeding such Sorghum (Jowar) to cattle causes damage and often death.
  • In short, hydrocyanic acid content in short Sorghum (Jowar) is higher at the early stage of the crop when excessive nitrogen fertilization is applied and under low soil moisture conditions. Also, its content is higher in tender leaves than in old leaves.
  • Hence, it is recommended to farmers that harvesting should be done only when the Sorghum (Jowar) crop reaches 50% of the flowering stage. In the two cropping system, the first cropping should be done at 55 to 60 days and each subsequent cropping at an interval of 45 to 50 days.

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

Fodder Sorghum (Jowar) Farming

FAQs:

1. What is the Scientific Name of Sorghum?

Ans: The Scientific Name of Sorghum Sorghum bicolor (L.)

2. Why Sorghum crop is important?

Ans: In the India and rest world, Sorghum (Jowar) is mainly used as grain, as human food, and as green fodder, dry fodder (hay), and silage as animal feed. • Sorghum (Jowar) is mainly used for animal feed in India. • The area under this crop in India is about 50-55 lakh hectares and production is 48-50 MT in the year 2021-22. • Dairy animals are the lifeblood of the entire dairy industry. The basic requirement of animals is nutritious green fodder. • 60 to 70 percent of the cost of milk production comes from animal feed. This cost can be reduced by producing more green fodder per unit of land by feeding the animals and getting more milk production. • Apart from reducing the cost of producing green milk, it provides carotene, probiotics, and minerals to the animal. By which the health and disease resistance of the animal increases. Thus, compared to other fodder crops, Sorghum (Jowar) fodder is superior in fodder quality as it contains more nutrients than other fodder crops. • Cattle prefer green fodder, dry fodder or silage. This crop can withstand water scarcity as well as withstand high rainfall. Also, this crop can be grown in all three seasons namely monsoon, winter, and summer. • In addition, this crop can grow in saline soils. Thus, Sorghum (Jowar) fodder has the highest importance among all green forages. • Sorghum (Jowar) fodder is popular among farmers in terms of production as well as quality.

3. Name different varieties of Sorghum?

Ans: Pant Chari-6 (UPMC-503),COFS- 29,Gujarat Fodder Sorghum 5 (GFS 5),Proagro Chari (SSG-988),Pant Chari-5 (UPFS- 32), Pusa Chari Hybrid-109 (PCH-109), Pusa Chari-615,Gujarat Fodder Sorghum 6 (GFS 6), Ruchira Maldandi,PCH-106 (Hybrid), Haryana Jowar-513 (S-513),CSH-20-MF (UPMCH-1101) etc.

4. Which chemical substance present in green sorghum?

Ans: A toxic substance called hydrocyanic acid.

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