Download a copy of the Tolgar Rhodes Grass factsheet.
Tolgar®, a diploid Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana), is a new Katambora type. Bred in Australia, this perennial variety was specifically selected for superior growth characteristics including increased production, persistence, greater forage quality, aggressive growth habit and higher salt tolerance
over commercial Katambora varieties. Leaf blades are thin, resulting in fine textured vegetative growth. The multiple tillering characteristics of Tolgar® produces a high leaf to stem ratio, which provides more consumable dry matter than other Katambora Rhodes grass varieties. Maturity evenness of this variety provides higher protein feed late in the season. Tolgar® demonstrates exceptional recovery after grazing or cutting. Later flowering than other Katambora Rhodes grass types provides Tolgar® the ability to maintain feed quality longer and out yield similar varieties in the market place.
Tolgar® is an excellent option for extensive grazing, intensive grazing or hay cutting operations. The aggressive, spreading, stoloniferous ability of Rhodes grass makes it ideal for land reclamation, amenity, revegetation, erosion control, soil conservation purposes and mine rehabilitation.
Suggested Sowing Rates (AgriCote coated seed)
Marginal Dryland: 4−6Kg/Ha
Ideal Dryland: 8−12Kg/Ha
Variety Management / Agronomy
Tolgar® is well suited to tropical, sub-tropical and certain temperate regions. It is adapted to a wide range of soil types from infertile sands to fertile loams and Brigalow clays. Establishes and persists well, even at low fertility, having a higher tolerance for drought and a rapid growth rate compared to other Rhodes grass species. It can however be hard to establish on heavy cracking clays. This species has moderate frost tolerance, being less affected by frost than tetraploid types.
Compatibility (with other species)
Tolgar® Rhodes grass performs well in tropical mixes and is compatible with a variety of pasture species. Grasses include Buffels, Digitaria, lower growing Panic species (Gatton and Green), Brachiaria, Setaria, Millet and Bluegrasses. Tolgar® combines well with legumes such as Burgundy Bean, Siratro, Desmodium, Butterfly Pea, Centro, Glycine, Coastal Stylo, Desmanthus, Lucerne, Medic, Serradella and Clover. Persistence of these legumes over time will be dependent on grazing management as many of these legumes may be less tolerant of grazing or have different management requirements.
Tolgar® Rhodes grass has a dense, tufted, leafy growth habit with finer leaf and stems compared to commercial Katambora varieties. A higher leaf to stem ratio increases palatability. This variety is strongly stoloniferous, whose aggressive runners provide good soil cover for weed suppression and erosion control. This stoloniferous characteristic aids in strong establishment, tolerance of heavy grazing and long term persistence. Tolgar® Rhodes grass has the ability to dispose excess salt on the basal growth region
of the plant, providing high salt tolerance abilities. Tolgar® Rhodes grass being a diploid, is insensitive to day length and will flower throughout the growing season.
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. 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. The fluffier nature of diploid Rhodes grass tends to cause the bare seed to ‘ball’ or bridge when planting. The pelleted nature of coated seed allows the seed to flow more readily. The use of AgriCote coated seed will greatly improve the establishment success of Tolgar®.
Tolgar® demonstrates greater persistence than Katambora. Tolgar® Rhodes grass can be used as a permanent pasture or a short to medium term pasture ley. Long term persistence is dependent on adequate nutrition, moisture and ideal grazing management. Recovers well after fire but generally has poor shade tolerance.
The success of a pasture will depend on grazing management in the first season. Do not graze until follow-up rain post planting allows seedlings to develop a strong root system and set some seed, then graze lightly. Rotational grazing practices are preferable to continuous stocking to ensure long term persistence. Diploid Rhodes grass is very tolerant of cutting or grazing and the stand should be maintained in a leafy condition by regular grazing or cutting, since feed values decline rapidly with the onset of flowering.
Fertiliser / Nutrition
Rhodes grass can survive and tolerate infertile soil, however will become unproductive and persistence will be greatly reduced, particularly if grazed or cut frequently. The use of AgriCote coated seed ensures essential macro and micronutrients are immediately available to the seedling.
Responds to phosphorus in poorer soils. N and P fertiliser is recommended at sowing, banded away from the seed. A maintenance fertiliser program is recommended to replace nutrient removed by grazing or hay cutting over time, particularly at the high stocking densities which can be sustained by such grasses. Split applications of 50−100Kg/ Ha N are used often. The use of a soil test will form the foundation of a suitable fertiliser program. Production declines without a vigorous legume or the use of nitrogen fertiliser.
No record of toxicity in any livestock species. The low levels of oxalate in Tolgar® makes it an ideal species for horse pastures.