Summer Crops

Summer forage crops can produce a large bulk of green feed over summer and early autumn, when pasture quality is often low or limited. Types of summer forages include: Sorghum, Millet, and Brassica. Managed properly summer forage provides high quality nutritious dry matter and multiple grazing by stock.

Potential animal health issues

Management of both forage crop and livestock are important while grazing sorghum and brassica.

Sorghum produces prussic acid (cyanide) in varying amounts, depending on variety, conditions and stage of growth. On the other hand forage brassica contain certain chemical compounds that cause animal health issues such as Photosensitization and Bloat.

Ways to avoid animal health issues

• Select and plant a variety of Sorghum low in prussic acid.

• Avoid grazing sorghum if under knee height, particularly short regrowth after rain.

• Do not put hungry stock straight on the forage crop. Full feeding of a good quality cereal hay is highly desirable

• Feed a high energy (13 Mega Joules & above) pellet while grazing forage crops to capture the protein in forage crop and convert them to liveweight gain and milk.

• Provide a mineral supplement containing calcium and magnesium. Use sulfur for sorghum grazing and avoid sulfur for brassica grazing. Brassica crops are high in sulfur.

• Hay and straw should always be available while grazing forage crop.

• Ensure vaccination of your stock is up-to-date prior to putting them on forage crop.

If you require any on farm assistance or advice, please call 1800 COPRICE.