Download a copy of the G2 Guinea Grass factsheet here.
G2, a tetraploid Guinea grass, is a new Megathyrsus maximus type. Discovered in Australia, this strongly perennial variety exhibits superior growth characteristics including increased production, persistence and greater forage quality over commercial Guinea grass varieties. This new Guinea grass is a medium to short variety with long narrow leaves, distinctly different from the tall, broad leaved Guinea grass varieties currently sold. G2 demonstrates exceptional recovery after grazing or cutting. This variety has been used successfully for making hay and silage. Later flowering than other commercial Guinea grass types provides G2 the ability to maintain feed quality longer and out yield similar varieties in the market place.
Erect, tussocky perennial that forms clumps. G2 Guinea grass is a short-medium Guinea grass type. The variety has a deep and extensive root system that can find water at depth. Annual dry matter yields are similar to the giant types but higher in cool season growing conditions.
Complements Leucaena very well. Excellent option for high input, intensive grazing or hay cutting.
Variety Management / Agronomy
G2 is well suited to tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate coastal regions. This variety performs best on deep, fertile, moist soils and will tolerate varying soil types provided they are well drained. Will not tolerate waterlogging, salinity or very acidic soils. G2 can tolerate frosts well with plants recovering during the onset of warmer conditions. Tolerant of shade, G2 is an ideal option for under tree lines, provided soil fertility is maintained. G2 exhibits early season growth coming out of winter with exceptional ‘bounce back’.
Suggested Sowing Rates (AgriCote coated seed)
Marginal Dryland: 4−6Kg/Ha
Ideal Dryland: 8−12Kg/Ha
Seed can be drilled or broadcast and being a small seed, should be planted ideally at 5mm and no more than 1cm deep. Seed to soil contact is important. The use of press wheels or, on non-hard setting soils rolling after sowing, will greatly improve germination and establishment by providing ample seed to soil contact. Care should be taken not to plant in the hottest summer weather without adequate moisture – the seed must maintain close contact with wet soil for about 3−4 days to establish a seedling. Best sown when conditions are warm and humid, into moist soil and a strong chance of follow up rain. The use of AgriCote coated seed will greatly improve the establishment success of G2 Guinea grass.
Compatibility (with other species)
G2 Guinea grass performs well in a sole stand or as part of a pasture mix. Blends ideally with Rhodes and setaria grass species. G2 Guinea grass combines well with twining legumes under light grazing. Persistence of these legumes over time will be dependent on grazing management as many of these legumes may be less tolerant of intensive grazing or have different management requirements to that of G2 Guinea grass.
Unlike other Guinea grass varieties, G2 is a strong perennial. This variety re-establishes quickly after grazing or long dry periods due to its robust root system. Can be used as a permanent pasture or a short to medium term pasture ley. Tolerates heavy grazing well. Long term persistence is dependent on adequate nutrition, moisture and ideal grazing management.
Fertiliser / Nutrition
The use of AgriCote coated seed ensures essential macro and micronutrients are immediately available to the seedling. Responds to phosphorus and potassium. N and P fertiliser is recommended at sowing, banded away from the seed. A post-emergence application of 100−150Kg/ Ha of urea in pure stands will assist in stimulating greater stand development. A maintenance fertiliser program is recommended to replace nutrients removed by grazing or hay cutting over time, particularly at the high stocking densities which can be sustained by such grasses. The use of a soil test will form the foundation of a suitable fertiliser program.
The success of a pasture will depend on grazing management in the first season. Guinea grass should not be grazed in the first year until plants become well established and ideally after an initial seed set and drop. If used in a mix with legumes, a short period of grazing can be used to control Guinea grass bulk that can dominate legume components. Continuous heavy grazing of young regrowth can kill plants. For long term stand maintenance, G2 Guinea grass should not be grazed or cut below 20−30cm and should be grazed or cut at 4−6 week intervals to obtain the optimum balance between quality and quantity.
Pure stands of Guinea grass can cause photosensitisation in some situations, while also causing colic if eaten too wet or in excess. Has also been recorded to cause ‘big head’ in horses as a pure stand in some situations and hypocalcaemia in ruminants due to oxalate accumulation.
PLANT BREEDERS RIGHTS (PBR): This variety is registered under Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) in Australia. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material is an infringement under the Plant Breeders Rights Act (1994). Any breach of this legislation will leave the grower liable for prosecution.