Description. Sudan grass (Sudanese, grass sorghum) is an annual herbaceous plant, a variety of sorghum - the culture of the Poaceae family (cereals), a fodder plant. Its wild species are common in Africa. They are cultivated as a fodder plant for obtaining green mass, hay, haylage, silage in Western Europe, India, Africa, South and North America, Australia, in the southern and southeastern regions of the European part of Russia, in Kazakhstan, in the Altai Territory, in the Far East.
The roots of the plant are filaceous, penetrating into the soil to a depth of 2.0-2.5 m. Sudan grass completely permeates the soil with a mass of root girder, thus changing the structure of the subsoil layers, their physical and chemical processes. Thanks to such an extensive root system, Sudan grass is able to withstand drought, using nutrients and water from deep layers of soil.
The plant forms from 3 to 20-30 stems in the bush. The stems are cylindrical in shape, smooth, well-leafed, about 0.5-3.5 m in height. According to the shape of the bush, it can be erect, light-sprawling, sprawling, semi-lying and lying. The leaves of Sudan grass are lanceolate, smooth, of light green color, 45-60 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, penetrative, 7-8 on one plant. The root system consists of a large number of long, filaceous roots, the length of which can reach 2 m or more. Inflorescence is a multicolored branching panicle 30-50 cm long, with single-flowered spikelets. During maturing, the color of the panicle varies from red to straw-yellow. Fruit is a grain enclosed in glumes.
The Sudan grass is drought-resistant, salt-tolerant, heat-loving crop, but very demanding to the elevated temperature during the germination of seeds. The temperature of 15-20° is ideal for germination of seeds. It is a plant of a short light day. At the beginning of the growing season, the development is slow, and from the moment of entering the tube, intensive growth of stems in height begins, which stops at the end of flowering. Sudan grass is suitable for almost all types of soils, with the exception of swampy and compacted solonetzes. The plant has a strong ability to drain and deplete the soil.
It is sown as a part of mixtures of annual leguminous plants. The average yield of green mass is up to 400 c / ha (can reach 800 c / ha under condition of watering), of seeds - 8-13 c / ha.
There are such varieties of Sudan grass: Kinel 100, Multigrowing, Near-Aleysky, Zonalskaya 6, Odesskaya 25, Kamyshinskaya 51, Chernomorka, Brodskaya 2, Severyanka.
Application. Sudan grass is a wonderful fodder plant. The crop is cultivated for hay, silage, green forage and for pasture. The hay contains 16.4% of protein and 52 of feed units (100 kg). Sorghum is rich with proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids (lysine, leucine, etc.), carotene, minerals and tannins, vitamins. According to nutrition and yielding capacity, this plant ranks first among the grasses.