Smutsfinger Grass

(Digitaria eriantha)

Smutsfinger is a sweet grass and keeps its palatability until late in winter – even after being killed by frost. It is an excellent pasture grass that can be utilized from mid-late summer/autumn. It can also produce good quality silage if it is chopped fine enough. It is well adapted to medium and low potential soil in areas with rainfall higher than 500 mm. It is also successful on soils with a high clay content but cannot withstand waterlogging.


• November, January, and February are the best seeding months
• Stop 8 weeks before the first frost is expected
• Where weeds are not a serious problem, you can plant during September/ October
• Invasion of Eragrostis can pose a problem for the lifespan of Smutsfinger grass


• Protein content can be vary depending on the age of the plant, the season and amount of N applied
• Heavy grazing later in the season (especially February to May) can result in poor production in the following season
• It prefers long rest periods and DM production increases with longer cutting intervals compared to shorter intervals
• The protein content and the digestibility also decrease with longer intervals, but the total protein/ha will be higher as an effect of the higher DM production
• Does not like heavy grazing
• Should be grazed before piping for the highest crude protein
• Used in summer – CP about 10%
• Used in winter – CP about 8%
• Withdraw animals after December for winter usage

Soil preparation
• Soil surface must be dry. Germination will take place with the first rains.
• The subsoil must contain sufficient moisture. This will be beneficial if dry weather is experienced after germination.



A diploid, tufted perennial with a high palatability. Well adapted to most well drained soils and grows well in mixtures with rhodes grass. These mixtures can however lead to difficulties during seed production.



Seeding rate (uncoated)
Seeding rate (coated)