Agricultural Reviews

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​Assessment of Hydrocyanic Acid (HCN) Content during Different Stages of Growth in Johnson Grass (Sorghum helepensis)

C.N. Jadav, R.B. Makwana, S.S. Parikh
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1Cattle Breeding Farm, Junagadh University, Junagadh-362 001, Gujarat, India.
Cite article:- Jadav C.N., Makwana R.B., Parikh S.S. (2022). ​Assessment of Hydrocyanic Acid (HCN) Content during Different Stages of Growth in Johnson Grass (Sorghum helepensis). Agricultural Reviews. 43(3): 394-397. doi: 10.18805/ag.R-2149.
Background: Johnson grass (Sorghum helepensis) is not a cultivated fodder crop but it is a wild variety seen on farm bunds after rainfall in which Sorghum vulgare (Gundrijowar) fodder crops were cultivated in kharif season in Saurashtra region of Gujarat state. At different stages of growth, Johnson grass contains cyanogenic glycosides of varying level which liberate hydrocyanic acid in rumen when it consumed by ruminant animals due to rumen microflora (Toxic level of HCN is 20 mg/ 100 gm dry matter). The current study aimed to estimate varying levels of HCN in Johnson grass to keep dairy farmers informed of safe level of HCN for harvesting.
Methods: An investigation was carried out at Cattle Breeding Farm, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, Gujarat for three consecutive years 2013-2015 in kharif season. Non-cultivated (Sorghum helepensis) fodder samples were collected for quantitative HCN concentration from farm bunds nearby eight sown plots of Gundrijowar (Sorghum vulgare) from 15 DAS and sampling were continued at fortnightly intervals till the plots exhibit 25% flowering stage.
Result: Result of obtained data in present study revealed that concentration of HCN in Johnson grass in kharif season decreased significantly (p<0.05) on attaining 25% flowering stage during the year 2013, 2014 and 2015. It was concluded that Green Johnson grass can be fed to ruminant animals safely at 25% flowering stage.

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