Livestock producers warned about the dangers of feeding drought-affected sorghum

ASSESS THE QUALITY: NSW DPI Feed Quality Service (FQS) analytical chemist, Richard Meyer.
ASSESS THE QUALITY: NSW DPI Feed Quality Service (FQS) analytical chemist, Richard Meyer.

LIVESTOCK producers are warned that drought-stressed sorghum could pose a risk to sheep and cattle.

The warning comes after some recent feed tests conducted in Wagga showed unsafe levels of prussic acid.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Feed Quality Service (FQS) analytical chemist, Richard Meyer, said close to 50 per cent of sorghum samples received this year had significant levels of prussic acid, which could cause serious poisoning and death if grazed by stock.

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“Prussic acid, hydrogen cyanide, is produced by sorghum, millet and Sudan grass during drought and following rain when drought-stressed, stunted plants begin to grow,” Mr Meyer said.

“If livestock safety is in doubt we advise producers test plants which commonly cause prussic acid poisoning before stock graze risky feed.” 

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