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IMPORTANCE OF FORAGE SORGHUM IN PAKISTAN




  • Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) belonging to family Graminae, locally known as jawar and is grown as a fodder crop in Pakistan. It is multi-use cereal; contain grains, forage and sweet types. It is dual purpose crop of kharif season.Sorghum is a warm-season, short-day annual grass.  Assortment for forage varieties has been inspiring for the last hundred years. There are many cultivars in use throughout the world. Sorghums can be classified into two types: forage type (animal consumption) and the grain types (human consumption). Sweet sorghum mainly used for molasses but in recent times for biofuel production. Hybrid forage sorghums grow 8–10 ft tall and have comparatively large stem diameters. This crop can produce yields similar to silage corn, but forage quality is generally lower due to digestibility and lower crude protein. Multi cut forage sorghum has fine stem, tillers more abundantly than other sorghums varieties. They produce very few seed, and after cutting or grazing their rate of regrowth is usually advanced to that of hybrid forage sorghums.

    Hybrids forage sorghum has the highest yield potential if sufficient rainfall or irrigate properly. Sorghum varieties should be rotationally stocked when grazed and allowing the forage to arrive at 24 inches before grazing. Sweet sorghum is well adapted to sub-tropical regions and temperate regions of the world. Sweet sorghum mainly is planted for sugar and ethanol production.It produces more biomass, while water requirement is low. Therefore, production of these crops has been sustained during the summer when climatic conditions are unfavorable to reduce in the production and quality of perennial herbage. By harvesting maturity, starch digestibility and methane emissions of maize silage was not affected in in-vivo digestibility, while a decrease in neutral detergent fibre contents was observed with maturity stage. The delay in harvesting increased the green fodder yield but quality was reduced in all three cultivars of millet. Biomass produced by the single cut forage sorghum is more than the multi cut sorghum related to sowing date. Regrowth of multi cut biomass was abridged more than single cut.

    A major limiting factor for a prosperous of livestock industry in Pakistan is fodder scarcity. The available production is approximately 52 – 54 % less than actual requirement for animals. The importance of fodder crops in agriculture require no emphasis because of the fact that basic requirement of livestock production is a regular, sufficient and nourishing fodder is to full fill the demand of butter, milk and other by products which are used for human. Animals in Pakistan are generally underfeed, which results in unsatisfactory production of livestock. Pakistan is artistic with a large livestock population well modified to the local environmental conditions. Pakistan has 33.00 million heads of cattle, 29.90 million buffaloes, 27.40 million sheep, 58.30 million goats and 1.00 million camels. Livestock produce in the region of 43.56 million tons of milk, which make Pakistan the 3rd largest milk producer country in the world. Livestock produce 1.60 million tons of beef, 0.59 million tons of mutton, 41.54 thousand tons of whole, 21.99 thousand tons of hair and 57.93 million skins and hides. Recently fodder supply is 1/3 times less than the actual needs. During the past decade the area under fodder crops has been reduced or so without any momentous resultant increase in per ha yield. This reduction in area and yield is due to growing pressure of human population, shortage of irrigation water, low priorities to fodder production and imbalance use of fertilizers. Due to increase in population demand for milk and meat is also increased and was predictable that 1993 to 2020, livestock products have double demand. In developing countries annually the rate of and milk and meat produced will grow at 2.7 % and 3.2 % correspondingly. So, to full fill demand for meat and milk in future we should identify the restrictive factors for livestock production.

    Quality of forage was improved to full fill the requirement of livestock, improved cultivars of fodder crops like multi-cut oats; sorghum- Sudan grass hybrids, sorghum, and millet have been developed. Millet hybrid has a great potential to meet the growing needs for fodder especially in arid and semi-arid climates as it has ability to grow on low fertile soils under low moisture regimes. In Pakistan average forage yields are extremely low as compare to yields gained on research institutes and well managed farms. Quality and productivity include planting density, fertilization and growth stage of crop can be affected due to crop management practices at harvest time. In Pakistan data and information on the belongings of different harvesting times and varieties on the yield and quality of sorghum is very less.

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