Sudan Grass Hay
Common name for an annual forage grass, Sorghum sudanense,
native to areas throughout Africa and southern Asia. It was introduced into the U.S. in 1909 from Khartoum and has since become a valuable forage plant.
It grows up to 3 m (10 ft) high. The thick, erect stems usually arise in groups from a single clump.
The leaves are long and narrow and are arranged at the ends of the stems on loose-bending branches. Because of its resistance to long, hot, dry periods of weather,
Area of Adaptation
Sudan grass is well adapted to the Great Plains of North America, and in more humid areas it is valuable as emergency forage. In regions where the moisture content of the soil is low, the grass is usually the principal crop; where there is sufficient rainfall it is often grown with soybean
Sudan grass is sometimes considered dangerous to grazing livestock because it may contain varying amounts of hydrocyanic acid, a toxic substance. Danger of hydrocyanic acid poisoning is eliminated by delaying grazing until the plants reach a height of 91 cm (36 in) or more, at which stage they are relatively free of the substance. The acid content of the grass may also be decreased by limiting planting to fertile soils with large water-holding capacities.