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Cyanide and nitrate poisoning from sorghum crops

Cyanide (sometimes called prussic acid) and nitrate can be present in various amounts in grain and forage sorghums. In hot and dry conditions, such as drought, these plants become stressed, causing them to accumulate these toxins. Fatalities can occur where ruminants graze sorghum crops or are fed sorghum hays containing excess levels of cyanide and or nitrate toxins.

By observing a few simple rules for using sorghum crops as fodder, you can prevent significant losses.

This guide contains information on cyanide poisoning, as well as nitrate poisoning in livestock. It gives advice on how you can prevent, diagnose and manage these poisonings. It also has information on how best to use sorghum as fodder.