ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 80 Number 3
Research Papers
Irrigated forage production in the central clay plains of Sudan. (135)
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Management needs of crops grown for forage in the central clay plains of Sudan were investigated. Reliable seed rate recommendations for a range of forages were difficult to establish because of highly variable field emergence. However, for sorghum, it appeared that 95% of maximum forage yield could be obtained with established seedling populations of 55 plants m-2. Irrigation prior to cultivation and sowing during the dry season nearly doubled field emergence of sorghum and wheat and a similar degree of improvement in emergence was achieved with planting sorghum at 2-cm depth rather than sowing broadcast. Sorghum grown for forage showed an average response to applied N of 20.3 kg dry matter (DM) kg-1 N with application of up to 75 kg N ha-1. Forage production responses to P application were more variable with an average of 12.6 kg DM kg-1 P2O5 within a range of 0.8 to 40.6 kg DM kg-1 P2O5. Among a range of species, the most productive short-term forage crop was grain sorghum cv. UmBanein, which produced on average, 17% more DM than the traditional forage sorghum cv. Abu Sabein when harvested as a whole crop for forage. It is suggested that a policy of seasonal production of irrigated forage in Central Sudan, focussed on the July-January period, should be encouraged in order to maximize efficiency of use of limited water supplies.
Keywords: Forages; Sorghum; Seed rate: Fertilizer response; Irrigation; Water use efficiency; Sudan