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Mississippi Forages

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)

Plant Characteristics: Perennial that could spread by stolons, rhizomes or seed. There is a hairy ligule present. Seed head has 3 to 5 spikes connected at a common point.

Establishment: Extremely drought tolerant and can be planted throughout the state. Seeded bermudagrass should be planted between February and March at a seeding rate of 5 to 10 lb/ac. Hybrid bermuda propagated by sprigs should planted at rates of 10 bu/ac in rows, or broadcast and covered at rates of 25 to 40 bu/ac. Seeding depth is 1-2 inches. Potassium deficiency increases leafspot disease. Armyworms and spittlebug can reduce yields.

Fertilization: Best adapted to sandy soils. Soil should be tested before preparing the seedbed to determine the P, K, and lime requirements. High responsive to fertilizers with N and K responses being very similar. To reduce weed competition, N should not be applied at planting and delayed until the established stolons begin to elongate.

Grazing/Hay Management: It could be utilized for pasture or hay. Most forage production occurs late May to October with yields ranging from 6 to 12 tons/ac. Rotational grazing with heavy stocking rate is recommended. Hay production could be obtained at 4 to 6 weeks intervals. Annual clovers and small grains are usually overseeded for winter forage.

Forage Quality:

Varieties/Cultivars: Seeded: Common, Giant, Majestic, Cheyenne, Mohawk; Blends: Pasto Rico (common, giant), Texas Tough Plus (common, giant, Majestic), Pasture Supreme (common, giant), Tierra Verde (common. giant), Ranchero Frio (Cheyenne, Mohawk, giant), Sungrazer Plus (KF 194, CD90160, giant), Vaquero (CD 90160, Mirage); Propagated: Coastal, Tifton 85, Tifton 44, Midland, Midland 99.