Tight and expensive. That describes the seed supply of pearl millet, sorghum-sudangrass, forage sorghum and sudangrass, says Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Extension forage specialist.
The culprit is last year’s drought in Texas, where nearly all seed of these summer annuals is produced.
“I’m receiving many reports from our Extension agents that seed prices have doubled over last year’s price,” he says. “Unfortunately, there are no reasonable substitutes for these species.”
Browntop millet yields half as much as those species – in a good year. And teff is not suited to Georgia’s environment, he says.
“There are no summer annuals that can be easily made into hay and give a decent yield,” Hancock says.
Pearl millet is the most drought-tolerant option for grazing, baleage and, if necessary, hay. Making hay from it, however, will require five to seven days. Forage sorghum is best for silage. Book the best varieties as soon as possible, he advises.