Molopo

Blue Buffalo Grass

(Cenchrus ciliaris)

Blue buffalo is a grass that is adapted to warm, low rainfall areas in SA, having a relatively good drought resistance. It is widely adapted to soil types, except light sand, and prefers alkaline soils. It has very deep roots of up to 1 500 m and has rhizomes that allow it to produce more tillers. It is normally used for cattle but can also be utilized by sheep and horses or used for making hay.

Establishment
• November, February and March are the best seeding months
• Rolling the soil is essential


Soil preparation
• Reacts favourably when soils are loosened before the summer rains
• Heavy soils that crack during winter need less loosening than lighter soils
• Cultivation should not be done in winter, seeing that it can lead to dying off of the grass


Utilization
• Grazing normally starts in November for mature Buffalo grass when the grass is 300 mm long
• It is best if the grass is either lightly or completely grazed down
• If not, the result would be a mix of new leaves and old stalks, reducing palatability
• It can be utilized as both a very quick rotation and a relative long grazing period
• At the beginning of summer, the grass grows quicker, making it more challenging to implement grazing systems
• It is recommended to make hay or be rested during winter
• Remove all the old material at the end of winter
• Keep it as leafy as possible

 

MOLOPO

The variety comes from the North West Province of South Africa. It is a tall, rhizomatous grass with distinctly grey leaves and straw-coloured seed heads. It is cold tolerant and grows longer into the cool season. It is well adapted to heavier soils and has a good seed production if adequately fertilised with N. Its upright and tall growth habit makes it better suited for cattle than Gayanda.

Specifications
Seeding rate (uncoated)
5-10kg/ha
Seeding rate (coated)
12-20kg/ha