Original Articles

Yield and morphological responses of a forage sorghum to mefluidide


Abstract

Due to rapid growth, stem build‐up in forage sorghum crops often leads to considerable wastage by animals and consequent loss of production. In this study the potential of the chemical plant growth regulator, mefluidide, for modifying the morphology of forage sorghum was examined. Mefluidide was applied to two consecutive plantings of forage sorghum at 0; 0,14 and 0,28 kg/ha. Treatment with mefluidide suppressed stem elongation of sorghum plants and stimulated tillering 4–6 weeks after application. After 6 weeks the stem:leaf ratio of treated plants was significantly lower (P ≤0,05) than that of control plants. On average, total dry matter (DM) yield was marginally higher for the control, but DM yield of leaf material was significantly higher. (P ≤0,05) for treated plots from 6 weeks after mefluidide application. No significant differences were observed between levels of mefluidide but responses of different variables over time differed between plantings. This was associated with different stages of plant growth when mefluidide was applied and different environmental conditions for two plantings.

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