a1 University of Nottingham School of Agriculture, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, Leics.
Changes in prices of the basic cereals make it necessary to have a reliable assessment of their relative nutritive values if maximum economic efficiency of pig production is to be attained. As the primary role of cereals in pig feeds is as a source of energy, it is on this basis that comparison should be made but with due allowance for any major differences in nutrient content which may necessitate differential supplementation.
Sorghum, or milo, is a cereal imported into the United Kingdom which, at times, may be competitive with other cereals for price per ton but about whose nutritive value there is some confusion. Sorghum has not often been compared with barley as a cereal for pigs, but its value relative to that of maize seems to vary widely, between 80 and 100% (Braude, Mitchell and Robinson, 1950; Hillier, MacVicar and Pond, 1954; Aubel, 1956; Loeffel, 1957; Peo and Hudman, 1958; Schruben, 1959; Vanschoubroek, Spaendonk and Nauwynck, 1964). Estimates of relative digestible energy values (DE) are equally variable; the DE value of sorghum has been assessed as 94·5% (Diggs, Becker, Terrill and Jensen, 1959) and 96·2% (Robinson and Lewis, 1962) that of maize, whereas the TDN value given by Evans (1960) is greater than that of maize. Robinson and Lewis (1962) consider the DE value of sorghum to be 140% ofthat of barley, but Evans (1960) quotes a TDN value for sorghum which is 111% of that of barley. While variation in the type of sorghum used may account for some of this discrepancy, Dammers and Djikstra (1961) found little difference between the varieties milocorn, kaffir corn, granifero and white dari, and only guinea corn differed in having a lower energy value.
(Received August 25 1966)