New forage sorghum BRS 661 combines high productivity and nutritional quality

Its adaptability to different forage production systems makes it strategic for livestock breeders and farmers in the Southeast, Central-West and Northeast regions.

13.05.2024 | 17:11 (UTC -3)
Sandra Brito
Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

Embrapa has just launched the forage sorghum cultivar BRS 661. Developed to meet the demand for more productive cultivars, this sorghum brings together fundamental attributes for achieving high green mass productivity with excellent nutritional quality. It is the ideal choice to increase the efficiency and sustainability of crops, as it combines productivity, adaptability and resistance to diseases.

The new cultivar was created especially for low-cost silage production systems and has the potential to achieve green mass productivity exceeding 60 tons per hectare. Its adaptability to different forage production systems makes it a versatile and strategic choice for livestock producers and farmers. This draws attention and makes this sorghum an effective choice for the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast, regions for which it is recommended.

“The BRS 661 cultivar also stands out for its regrowth capacity, tolerance to aluminum in the soil, water stress and lodging, and leaf health”, comments Embrapa Milho e Sorgo agronomist Frederico Botelho.

For Reginaldo Coelho, also an agronomist at Embrapa Milho e Sorgo, in relation to the health of the material, BRS 661 proved to be more tolerant to the worst diseases that affect sorghum crops, mainly anthracnose.

The cultivar is recommended for summer and second harvests. “There is a demand from livestock farmers for cultivars that perform better in second harvest conditions. This is because most of the sorghum materials on the market, which are hybrid cultivars, have their yield reduced at this stage, as they are sensitive to photoperiodism (the plant's reaction to the availability of light)”, explains the agronomist.

Photo: Reginaldo R. Coelho
Photo: Reginaldo R. Coelho

“In this context, BRS 661, as it is a cultivar insensitive to photoperiodism, becomes an excellent option due to its wide adaptability in different environments, including during the second harvest period”, adds Coelho.

Botelho emphasizes that the new sorghum is the ideal choice for those looking to maximize the production of quality forage. “Its productivity, adaptability and health make it an indispensable option for efficient and sustainable production systems,” he adds.

The expectation is to triple seed production in the next harvest

In the 2023/2024 harvest, licensed companies belonging to Gransafra produced around 90 tons of seeds of the BRS 661 cultivar. This production was distributed to several regions of Brazil, the majority of which went to Ceará.

According to the co-owner of Gransafra, Francisco Moreira, “for the next harvest, the prospect is to triple production, reaching at least 300 tons”. This amount is enough for an area of ​​75 thousand hectares. He highlights the relevant characteristics of the cultivar, one of the main ones being the low consumption of seeds per hectare.

“Another characteristic we are observing is tolerance to anthracnose, a fungal disease that occurs in rainy periods and high temperatures. In the crops we monitor, the culture is proving to be very healthy”, points out the businessman.

Silage harvesting point

Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

According to Moreira, BRS 661 sorghum presents good uniformity in the development of panicles, which favors the determination of the ensiling point, contributing to the quality of the silage.

According to him, the quality of the silage is one of the differences that the BRS 661 brings. “And not only is the panicle uniform, but it also has broad leaves and a greater number of leaves per plant. It’s very promising and we’re excited,” he celebrates.

The partner companies for the BRS 661 cultivar are located in Ceará, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and São Paulo.

Launch of the new cultivar will be at AgroBrasília 2024

Embrapa presents sorghum BRS 661 with its seed producer partners, on May 22, 2024, at the AgroBrasília 2024 fair. With the theme “The most fertile ecosystem in agriculture”, the 15th edition of the event will be held from the 21st to the 25th of May, on highway BR 251, km 5, Rodovia Júlio-Paranoá, in Brasília, DF.

The deputy head of Technology Transfer at Embrapa Milho e Sorgo, Sara Rios, highlights that “the sorghum cultivar BRS 661 brings a concrete and modern opportunity for diversification and added value to the sorghum silage market, due to its competitive attributes agronomic and bromatological quality for high adoption and impact”.

“In addition, it generates new life cycles and sustainability in this technological route of cultivars. The results of field trials coordinated by Embrapa demonstrate productivity gains for the seed industries and rural producers”, comments Rios.

AgroBrasília is a showcase of new technologies for agribusiness. It is carried out by the Agricultural Cooperative of the Federal District Region (Coopa-DF), with the support of its partners. According to the event organizers, the fair is aimed at rural entrepreneurs of different sizes and segments and has a reference scenario for debates, lectures and courses on various topics related to the productive sector itself. The schedule can be followed on the event website.

Recommendations by regions, agronomic characteristics and disease reactions

The new cultivar is recommended for regions in the Southeast (SP, ES, MG, RJ), Center-West (DF, GO, MT, MS) and Northeast (AL, BA, CE, MA, PB, PE, PI, RN, IF).

*Variable depending on the region and planting time
*Variable depending on the region and planting time
* Reactions to diseases are subject to changes due to possible changes in the predominance of races of their causal agents
* Reactions to diseases are subject to changes due to possible changes in the predominance of races of their causal agents
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