One goal of the Livestock Feeds and Forages flagship is to identify ‘full-purpose’ crop lines that can produce grain for human consumption as well as feed for livestock from rest of the crop. The larger idea is to show plant breeders that feed objectives could also be part of the more normal food objectives.
Scientists from the Program have been conducting trials in India to improve the yield and quality of sorghum forage for livestock feeding. This is a major breeding objective, because of sorghum’s inherently high biomass accumulation, high productivity per unit water utilized and its ability to produce a ratoon crop after harvesting of the plant crop.
Newly bred sorghum lines, including 36 lines falling in 5 different categories, i.e. 12 experimental dual-purpose lines, 6 germplasm accessions from the ICRISAT collection, 11 commercial varieties and hybrids, 6 forage varieties and 1 bmr mutant line, were evaluated in terms of fodder yield, quality and ratooning ability.
Results showed that breeding for sorghum can target simultaneously both quality and biomass improvement.
Vinutha, K.S., Anil Kumar, G.S., Blümmel, M. and Srinivasa Rao, P. 2017. Evaluation of yield and forage quality in main and ratoon crops of different sorghum lines. Tropical Grasslands 5(1): 40–49 http://hdl.handle.net/10568/90146