Sorghum (Milo) – Cheap Chicken and Livestock Feed or DIY Sorghum Syrup

Row planted Sorghum

Source: Growing Grain Sorghum (Milo) (1)Departments of Agronomy, Soil Science, and Agricultural Engineering, Cooperative Extension Service and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin -Madison, WI 53706. (2)Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108.

Whether you grow Sorghum for chicken feed, livestock feed, to make Sorghum Syrup or for Human Consumption. Sorghum is an easy to grow, drought resistant highly productive grain crop that you should consider if you have small or large areas not being cultivated or planted with garden vegetables.

Farmers on the hot, dry plains from Texas to South Dakota grow and use grain sorghum like Corn Belt farmers use corn. Large acreages of grain sorghum are also grown in Africa and Asia in areas where the climate is too hot and dry for corn. Worldwide, sorghum is a food grain for humans. In the United States, sorghum is used primarily as a feed grain for livestock. Feed value of grain sorghum is similar to corn. The grain has more protein and fat than corn. When compared with corn on a per pound basis, grain sorghum feeding value ranges from 90% to nearly equal to corn. The grain is highly palatable to livestock, and intake seldom limits livestock productivity. In cattle feeding, the grain should be cracked or rolled before feeding this improves the portion digested.

Pasturing cattle or sheep on sorghum stubble, after the grain has been harvested, is a common practice. Both roughage and dropped heads are utilized. Grain sorghum may also be used as whole plant silage.
Sweet sorghum is often used as silage and pressed to extract juice to make Sorghum Syrup.

Sorghum stubble hay

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) has a variety of uses including food for human consumption, feed grain for livestock and industrial applications such as ethanol production. The area planted to sorghum worldwide has increased by 66 percent over the past 50 years, while yield has increased by 244 percent. Around half of the sorghum produced is fed to livestock, and half is consumed by humans.

Every part of sorghum plants can be used in feeding poultry and livestock.

Grain sorghum does not germinate and grow well under cool soil conditions. Poor emergence and seedling growth may result if grain sorghum is planted before soil temperatures reach 65 degrees with optimum soil temperature being 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Source: Guide for Grain Sorghum Published by: Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University).

Source: Sorghum Profile Ag Marketing Resource Center

Source: Sorghum is a rich source of various phytochemicals Sorghum phytochemicals and their potential impact on human health – Joseph M. Awika *, Lloyd W. Rooney, Cereal Quality Laboratory, Soil & Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Source: Processing Sorghum for making syrup: Processing Sweet Sorghum for Syrup Morris J. Bitzer and Joe D. Fox – Dr. Morris Bitzer is in the Department of Agronomy and Dr. Fox was formerly in the Department of Animal Sciences.
Additional References: Bitzer, Morris J. Production of Sweet Sorghum for Syrup in Kentucky. AGR-122. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington.

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2 responses to “Sorghum (Milo) – Cheap Chicken and Livestock Feed or DIY Sorghum Syrup

  1. When my husband and I lived in texas, the fields in the area were filled with this stuff. we had no clue what it was until now. thanks for the info! =)


    • Re: niapololy – Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog.
      In many places sorghum is planted as a crop of last resort when cotton or soybean crops are lost. Sorghum has a fairly short growing season so it will produce a good crop even if planted late in the growing season long after crops like soybeans and cotton will not have time to mature before first frost.
      Happy Gardening


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