July 1, 2019
BUTUAN CITY, July 1 — As the country’s livestock industry increases, the demand for feed materials also increases.
And this is where sorghum comes in.
Sorghum is an African grass species that produces round grains which is ideal for livestock and poultry feeds.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is boosting sorghum production in the country to supplement the Corn Production Program which has been the main source of animal feeds.
In the region, the DA Caraga’s Del Monte Lowland Rainfed Research Station conducted a Field Day on Sorghum and Soybeans on June 21 at Del Monte, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.
The hybrid sweet sorghum variety seeds used was part of the seeds distributed by DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol to the DA Regional Offices during the first Sorghum Field Day at North Cotabato. The seeds were planted on March 5 on a 2,500 sq. m. lot.
Sorghum requires less water and can survive in dry weather. The grain of sorghum is a good source of energy and protein. It has an estimated average production of 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare per harvest with three harvests in one planting season because of its ratooning capability wherein a crop will grow from the previous crop.
According to DA Caraga Regional Technical Director Nestor Burgos, 50-60% of feed ingredient is either corn or sorghum.
“Although sorghum may be used for food, it is basically used for feeds especially for ruminants like goat, sheep, and cow. Its stalk also may be used for silage,” he said.
He added that the more people will invest In the livestock industry, the more there will be demand for feeds also so other sources for feed material will come in handy.
DA Caraga’s Field Operations Division Chief Rebecca R. Atega said that the Department is targeting 35 hectares to be planted with sorghum this year while a total of 1,500 hectares is targeted for next year. She added that DA’s interventions for sorghum include seeds, fertilizer, and village-level feed mill.
“The village-level feed mill development program will provide rural livestock and poultry growers access to affordable feeds using materials they can locally grow,” Atega said.
On the other hand, the technology demonstration for Soybean showcased 20 varieties to demonstrate their features. These were planted on a 1,000 sq. m. lot on March 5.
The study is under the Soybean Research and Development Program which aims for the improvement of soybean for better nutrition and higher income through the development of soybean varieties with large seed size, high yields and enhanced functional properties.
Soybean is one of the most important commodities in the world and is one of the best sourceS of high-quality protein.
In 2016, Caraga had a total production of 287.20 MT with a total of 251 hectares with Surigao del Sur accounting for the bulk of production. (Vanessa P. Sanchez, DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)
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