Requirements and uses
- Areas with rainfall higher than 500 mm
- Well adapted to medium and low potential soils
- Successfull on soils with high clay content, but cannot withstand waterlogging
- Mainly a pasture grass – utilized from mid summer and later
- It is a sweet grass and keeps its palatability until late in winter – even after being killed by frost
- Excellent as fodder
- Good quality silage if its chopped fine enough
- Invasion of Eragrostis can pose a problem for the lifespan of Smutsfinger grass
- November, January and February best sowing months
- Stop 8 weeks before the first frost is expected
- Where weeds are not a serious problem, you can sow during September/October
Irene: A diploid, tufted perennial with high palatability. Well adapted to most well drained soils and grows well in mixtures with Rhodes grass. Difficulties in seed production.
Tiptop: A diploid, tufted perennial, selected from ‘Irene’ by ARC for seed quality, homogeneity of growth form (upright), early flowering, better leaf:stem ratio and rust resistance. It tolerates very cold winters and grows well on shallow, stony soils.
- Soil surface must be dry. Germination will take place with first rains.
- The subsoil must be wet. This will benefit if dry weather is experienced after germination.
- The protein content and the digestibility also decreases with longer intervals, but the total protein/ha will be higher as an effect of the higher DM production.
- Does not like heavy grazing
- Prefer long rest periods
- Should be grazed before piping for highest crude protein
- Used in summer – CP about 10%
- Used in winter – CP about 8%
- Withdraw animals after December for winter usage
- Smutsfinger grass with Rhodes grass is 2 kg Rhodes + 4 kg Smutsfinger per ha
- Works well with lucerne (in rows), bloating still a possibility
- Four grass mix: Smutsfinger, Rhodes grass, Panicum maximum en Anthephora pubescens 1 kg each per ha for uncoated seed