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Sudangrass

Gramineae, Poaceae Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This grass was introduced into the United States in 1909 from Africa and is now one of the most valuable summer annual forage grasses. It is widely adapted, is drought resistant, and grows rapidly from late seeding. It is usually seeded alone in low-rainfall areas but is often combined with soybeans in more humid areas. The grass stems reach up to 7 feet under the most favorable conditions. They are slender, usually only about 0.25 inch across. Several stems rise from a single clump. Leaves are numerous, long and narrow. Sudangrass is valuable for hay, silage or pasture. If growth is short and stunted the prussic acid content mav be high enough to make pasturing hazardous to livestock, but it is safe to use as hay. The prussic acid content is lower than in the forage sorghums. Seed of many improved varieties are available in commerce. Acreage planted annually to sudangrass in the United States is estimated at around 4,000,000.