Piper Sudan Grass Seed
This variety of Sudan grass is widely used for pasture, green chop, hay, and cover crop (green manure).
Piper is noted for its lower prussic acid content. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of a prussic acid problem with a grazed field, but under similar growing conditions, Piper Sudan grass will tend to have fewer problems with prussic acid than other Sudan varieties, Sudan hybrids, or Sorghum X Sudan hybrids. Piper is noted for strong seedling vigor and rapid growth with early maturity. It recovers rapidly after cutting or grazing and this characteristic helps to increase yield.
Piper Sudan (Certified)
This variety of Sudangrass is widely used for pasture, greenchop, hay, and cover
crop (green manure). Piper is noted for its lower prussic acid content. This
doesn’t rule out the possibility of a prussic acid problem with a grazed field, but
under similar growing conditions, Piper Sudangrass will tend to have fewer
problems with prussic acid than other Sudan varieties, Sudan hybrids, or
Sorghum X Sudan hybrids. Piper is noted for strong seedling vigor and rapid
growth with early maturity. It recovers rapidly after cutting or grazing and this
characteristic helps to increase yield. Piper has yielded similar to the hybrid
Sudan varieties in numerous trials throughout California and Arizona and has
often led the trials, with the highest yields of high protein feed. Piper Sudan may
grow up to 80 inches tall, but under normal hay production methods the field is
usually clipped at 3-4 feet for higher quality hay. Piper is noted for it prolific
tillering which improves regrowth and increases yield. Depending on the area
grown, temperatures, water conditions, soil fertility, and farm or cultural
practices, Piper Sudangrass has yielded from 10 to 40 tons of high quality feed
per acre per season in trials throughout the southwestern USA.
This acid is a toxic, poisonous substance that builds up in the stems of growing
Sudangrass and the closely related sorghums. Prussic acid is not a concern with
hay produced from Sudangrass fields, only with grazed or pastured fields. Piper
Sudangrass is noted for its lower potential for prussic acid problems. To reduce
the chances of poisoning animals feeding on these forages, the first growth
should reach at least 25 inches in height before grazing use. Fields being pastured
should not be stressed for water as this tends to cause an increase in prussic acid
content in the plants. Frosted acreage should not be grazed if there is any
succulent new growth present. This faster growing succulent growth tends to
have a higher concentration of poison and, because it is more succulent and green,
the animals tend to prefer to graze this regrowth first. After there is not more new growth in the fall, the dried and cured frozen plant can be safely grazed.
It is not recommended that horses be grazed or pastured on Sudangrass fields as they
seed to be more susceptible to prussic acid poisoning than other grazing animals
such as cattle or sheep.
Planting Sudan grass Seed
Prepare a seedbed suitable for a small grain crop. Best results are obtained by
planting after April 1st or when soil temperature is above 60° F. Apply 100
pounds of actual nitrogen per acre disced in before planting. Pre-irrigation helps
to get Sudan off to a fast start and crowd out weeds. Disc shallowly to kill weeds
that appear after the pre-irrigation, prior to planting. Follow with harrow, flat
drag, or cultipacker to smooth surface.
Hay Broadcast ► 50-100 lbs Drill ► 45-80 lbs
Greenchop Broadcast ► 35-60 lbs Drill ► 30-50 lbs
Grazing Broadcast ► 35-60 lbs Drill ► 30-50 lbs
On later plantings or where extremely fine-stemmed hay is desired, the higher
planting rates should be used to insure a good stand of finer stemmed plants for
April through August 15th Using a grain drill, plant seed 2 to 4 inches deep, at
least one inch into moist soil; cultipack immediately. Broadcast planting may be
done after the seedbed has been prepared and before irrigating. Following
broadcast planting, the area should be lightly harrowed to provide seed coverage.
Apply at least 60 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre after each cutting-either
broadcast over the field or apply in the irrigation water.