Conversion of pastureland into cropland has occurred at a rapid rate in the Great Plains. A reduction in total acreage of pastureland from this conversion has resulted in a decline of total numbers of beef cows in the same region. One way to mitigate the decline in cow numbers is to increase the carrying capacity of the remaining pastureland acres. One method to do this could be to interseed a warm-season annual grass species into perennial cool-season grass pastures. This could increase dry matter production during the mid-summer time period when perennial cool-season grasses would be most dormant. An increase in production during this time period could result in a significant overall increase in total land area production. Greater forage production in turn increases the total number of beef cows the land area could support through grazing or haying.
While sorghum is a valuable forage crop, sorghum species can produce prussic acid, which can be toxic to livestock. The potential for toxic levels of prussic acid is affected by several different factors. If proper management occurs, sorghum can be a safe and beneficial forage crop.