University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.)

Warm-season grasses

This perennial warm-season grass is used for forage and erosion control in the warmer portions of the United States, including the southern third of Missouri. In southern Missouri, annual forage yields in the 10,000 lb/acre range are possible with good management. Under typical management, bermudagrass is of moderate quality for both hay and pasture uses. However, forage quality and yield can be excellent if bermudagrass is well fertilized with nitrogen and frequently grazed or harvested. Bermudagrass has some limitations. Because it must be established from vegetative sprigs, it is sometimes difficult to establish. Producers must take care to control weeds during establishment. Once established, bermudagrass is aggressive and can crowd out other species, which also makes it a poor choice for wildlife habitat.

Kentucky bluegrassBermudagrass
 

Yield distributionYield distribution of Bermudagrass in Missouri.
 

Seed head
Seed head

Collar region
Collar region


M181 Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage | University of Missouri Extension

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