Blue buffalo Grass

Blue Buffalo Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris)

  • Widely adapted to soils
  • Good drought resistance
  • Deep roots


    • Adapted to warm, low rainfall areas in SA
    • Relative good drought resistance – rhizomes to produce more tillers
    • Widely addapted to soils – except light sand
    • Prefer alcaline soils
    • Deep roots - 1 500 mm 
    • Normally for cattle – also sheep, horses, hay making



    • November, February and March
    • Rolling action essential


    Gayanda: Fine, medium-short, tufted, non-rhizomatous type, to 90 cm tall (commonly 30-60 cm), mid season flowering, suitable for light to medium textured soils. Has very good stock acceptance and characterised by its dense tillers.


    Molopo: From North West Province, South Africa. A tall, rhizomatous grass with distinctly grey leaves and straw-coloured seed heads. Cold tolerant and grows longer into the cool season. Well adapted to heavier soils. Good seed production if adequately N fertilised.


    Soil preparation

    • Reacts favourably when soils are loosened before the summer rains
    • Heavy soils that cracks during winter needs less loosening than lighter soils
    • Cultivations should not be done in winter – can lead to dying off of grass



    • Grazing normally starts in November – grass 300 mm high
    • Best if grass is lightly grazed or completely eaten down
    • If not, the result would be a mix of new leaves and old stalks - unpalatable
    • Very quick rotation or relative long grazing period
    • Beginning of summer – grass grows faster – difficult to implement grazing systems
    • Recommended to make hay or be rested for winter
    • End of winter – all old material to be removed
    • Keep as leafy as possible
    Sowing rate (uncoated)
    5 - 10 kg/ha
    Sowing rate (uncoated)
    12 - 20 kg/ha
    Subtropical Grasses

    Subtropical (warm season, C4) perennial grasses are traditionally grown in summer rainfall environments. However, they can be successfully grown in the Mediterranean environments due to a combination of drought tolerance and the mild winter conditions...