Johnsongrass (Sorghum hale pense L.), family Gramineae, is locally known as jowar butti. This grass is very similar to sorghum except that it maintains itself as a perennial. It is a tall, coarse summer grass native to the Mediterranean countries, Africa, and India. In Pakistan, its cultivation is restricted to certain pockets. It grows well on all types of soils with adequate fertility, however, it is best adapted to very heavy, dark clay soils that have good internal and surface drainage. The land should be prepared as for sorghum.
It is usually propagated with rhizomes or seeds. For seed planting, 12-20. kg seed per hectare is used. It can be planted over an extended period from May-July in our conditions. Most of the rhizomes appear when the plant nears the heading stage. The plant continues to produce rhizomes until the first killing frost. Johnsongrass also responds to N fertilization. Its fertilizer requirements can be met by adding 21h bags each of urea and DAP per hectare at sowing and I1h bags of urea with the first irrigation after each cut.
It has many good qualities for hay or pasture use, and provides excellent
forage for dairy cattle when grazed for one week and then allowed to rest for three to four weeks. It contains 12% crude protein in the boot stage and 6% in the milk stage. However, it causes prussic acid poisoning if animals are grazed in drought or frost-affected fields.
Johnsongrass produces abundant seed, with yield from 200 to over 500 kg/ha. Seed harvesting should be managed properly to avoid shattering loss.