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Sorghum: the third roughage crop for the Netherlands and Flanders?

03 February 2021

Wageningen

Sorghum is a new crop for the northern European regions and certainly in the Netherlands and Flanders. The sorghum plant, like silage maize, is suitable as animal feed. But before it can be applied on a large scale in practice, various properties of sorghum still need to be improved and / or better researched.

Foreign and previous tests in the Netherlands show that sorghum, as the third roughage crop on a dairy farm, can broaden the crop rotation with maize and can (partly) prevent the disadvantages of continuous maize cultivation. However, this knowledge and experience has not yet been bundled and weighted for its relevance under Dutch / Flemish circumstances.

Broad testing for good cultivation advice

Within the partnership PPS-Sorghum, the parties hope to take important steps towards realizing the value of sorghum, for example by further developing the required properties of sorghum varieties and comparing them with maize varieties in practice.

In addition, digestion and feeding tests are carried out to get a better picture of the nutritional value of sorghum. The most important potential environmental and cultivation benefits are further investigated through fertilization tests, soil samples and literature research.

Think of effects on nitrate leaching and the nitrogen cycle, organic matter content in the soil and the carbon cycle, soil-related diseases, soil compaction, drought tolerance and moisture management of the soil. And finally, experiences with sowing methods, fertilization, crop protection, harvest and conservation are portrayed,

The program is positioned within the Top Sector Agri & Food (TKI-AF-18037) and is financially supported by this Top Sector and by ZuivelNL, Vitens and the Dairy Fund. Within the Top Sector, business, knowledge institutions and the government are working together on innovations for safe and healthy food for nine billion people in a resilient world.

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