Boma Rodhes Grass

Boma Rodhes Grass: Harvesting & Seed Collection

160 views 12th April 2018 14th April 2018 boit 11

Harvesting

Start harvesting or grazing soon after grass flowers. If cutting, cut close to the ground to stimulate spreading. Leave to grow again until next flowering. When well managed, Rhodes grass can yield an average of 8 tonnes dry matter per hectare per year.

Storage

Hay can be kept for long periods if properly made and correctly stored; in contrast, it can deteriorate rapidly and even be lost by careless storage. The aim in storing hay is to keep it dry and to protect it from wastage due to rots, pests, stray livestock, fire or wind.

Storage areas, should have a dry foundation throughout the year, not only at the season of storage. They should be accessible all year round to the type of transport used, and protected from stray livestock and any fire risk. Where possible, it is better to store close to the point of use rather than in the field. Barn storage is ideal, of course, but is not always feasible.

Seed production

Seed can be harvested by hand with sickles and threshed with sticks. It is important to keep the seeding pasture clean of weeds because Rhodes grass seed is more difficult to clean than most other tropical grasses. Rhodes grass often produces two crops of seed per year. Rhodes grass seed matures 23–25 days after flowering. Yields up to 350 kg seed per hectare can be harvested. Seed can remain viable in storage for up to 4 years.

Feeding

Grazing is the most common method of feeding Rhodes grass. Avoid overgrazing— because its palatability is extremely high, livestock tend to overgraze pasture. Some farmers use the grass for cut-and-carry. It also makes good hay.

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