Effects of planting density and processing method on laboratory characteristics of grain sorghum for ruminants

P. J. Defoor, M. L. Galyean, N. A. Cole, O. R. Jones

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Grain sorghum grown in 38-cm (high-density) or 76-cm rows (normal-density) was steam-flaked, harvested as high-moisture grain followed by rolling and ensiling, or dry-rolled. Chemical composition, enzymatic starch availability, CP insolubility, and IVDMD in a reduced-strength buffer were evaluated. High-density planting increased (P < .10) OM and starch concentration and decreased (P < .0001) CP concentration but did not affect (P >.10) P concentration, enzymatic starch availability, or CP insolubility. High-density planting resulted in lower (P < .10) in vitro ruminal culture pH at 6, 12, and 18 h of incubation when grain sorghum was processed by steam flaking, and lower (P < .10) IVDMD at 6, 12, and 18 h of digestion when grain sorghum was processed by dry rolling. Steam flaking decreased (P < .10) CP concentration and solubility and increased (P < .10) OM concentration. High-moisture ensiling decreased (P < .10) the insolubility of CP but did not otherwise seem to alter the chemical composition of grain sorghum relative to dry rolling. Starch was more available (P < .10), and DM was digested more rapidly and extensively (P < .10) in vitro, in steam-flaked sorghum followed by high-moisture sorghum. Based on these data, it seems that planting density primarily affected chemical composition of grain sorghum, whereas processing primarily affected CP insolubility and rate and extent of starch fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2032-2038
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000



  • Density
  • Grains
  • Planting
  • Ruminants
  • Sorghum

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