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Floren Creeping Bluegrass

Dichanthium aristatum

 

  • Thrives on heavy soils and periodic inundation  
  • Forms large tussocks and will compete with weeds once established  
  • Highly palatable

 

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    Species Origin:

     

    From Karnataka, India (15ºN, 620 m asl, 850 mm rainfall).

     

    Description:

     

    Floren Bluegrass is a leafy, very palatable ecotype. It culms to 1.8 m at maturity. Floren is late flowering (125 days after the summer solstice in the subtropics). It is not strongly stoloniferous, but forms close sward through rooting at nodes of prostrate culms. Suppresses Rhodes grass under heavy grazing. Moderately drought tolerant, although killed out by prolonged dry conditions. Effective suppression of the weed, Phyla canescens, in floodplain situations. Very tolerant of flooding and waterlogging. Appears to need better moisture conditions than Bisset Bluegrass or Hatch Creeping Bluegrass. Mainly used as permanent pasture in seasonally flooded or waterlogged land. Suitable for grazing and cut-and-carry and for hay before flowering. Good for waterway and bank stabilisation and suppression of invasive weeds such as Phyla canescens (Verbenaceae) in flood-plain areas.

     

    Establishment:

     

    Rainfall: 650mm+

    pH: 5.5-8.0

    Soil Type: Basaltic Clays

    Coating: AgriCote or Bare

     

    Recommended planting rates for AgriCote Floren Bluegrass are:

     

    • Marginal Dryland: 2 - 4Kg per Hectare
    • Good Dryland: 10 - 12Kg per Hectare
    • Irrigated: 12-15Kg per Hectare

     

    Fresh seed has low germination and takes 6-7 months to reach maximum germination. Establishes well from seed broadcast onto a cultivated surface, or after fire, sown at 2-4 kg/ha. Seed is fluffy, so there are benefits in using AgriCOTE seed, to make it easier to pass through planting equipment. Has vigorous seedlings, establishing as readily as Bothriochloa insculpta and Panicum coloratum.

     

    Variety Management / Agronomy:

     

    Low P requirement, but can give 3-fold yield response to 100-200 kg/ha N. May need at least 1 t/ha lime to succeed on acid soils. Pest / Disease Resistance Low incidence of ergot. Dichanthium aristatum is an alternative host for sheath blight of rice caused by Rhizoctonia solani, and can infect adjacent rice crops. Other fungal organisms isolated include Puccinia kenmorensis (rust), Curvularia gudauskasii and Cerebella andropogonis.

     

    Performance:

     

    Hay yields of 4.5-13.5 t/ha (av. 9 t/ha). Under favourable conditions, 11 t/ha dry matter (equivalent to Panicum coloratum and Cenchrus ciliaris).

     

    Animal Production:

     

    Well eaten by all classes of stock when leafy. Acceptable to cattle but not sheep when mature. Selected over Heteropogon contortus in mixed stands. Live-weight gain of 140 kg/hd (272 kg/ha) from mid-summer to early winter (164 days) on Dichanthium aristatum /Stylosanthes humilis pasture . Crude protein values are often low, but can be increased by N fertilisation (e.g. 5.9% crude protein without applied N, 8.6% CP with 120 kg/ha N). Up to 12.5% crude protein in young foliage.

     

    Toxicity: Low in oxalate, therefore safe for horses.

    Tropical Grasses

    Tropically adapted grasses come in a wide range of species adapted to varying conditions. Many summer crops grown today are annual tropical grasses. Perennial tropical grasses offer the same benefits in terms of growth response to moisture & temperature and dry matter production.