New "brown midrib" varieties of forage sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids can offer better palatability and digestibility than traditional varieties.

These crops offer agronomic advantages for producers, particularly on non-irrigated land in arid regions where they are harvested for silage, haylage or hay. Digestibility problems, however, have limited the value of forage sorghum compared with other silage or hay crops. Several seed companies now offer varieties containing the brown midrib (BMR) gene that feature lower lignin content and better digestibility.

According to AgriBioTech Inc., testing using in-vitro true digestibility (IVTD) indicates a digestibility level of 80.7 percent for its sorghum-sudangrass hybrid, 10 percent to 20 percent higher than typical.