Group Title: Press bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: Para grass
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 Material Information
Title: Para grass
Series Title: Press bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 2 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Thompson, John B ( John Bert ), b. 1878
Publisher: University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1919
Subject: Brachiaria -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Forage plants -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Pastures -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Hay -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by J.B. Thompson.
General Note: "May 3, 1919."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00005200
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6524
ltuf - AEP5903
oclc - 52925959
alephbibnum - 000934836

Full Text




Para grass is a rank growing, leafy perennial with long
surface runners that may grow 20 or more feet in length, rooting
at the joints where they come in contact with moist soil. When
planted under favorable conditions these surface runners are
sent out in all directions until the ground surface is well covered,
and subsequent growth is more upright reaching a height of 4 or
5 feet. It thrives best in a warm climate and upon good soils
that contain an abundant supply of moisture. On moist fertile
soils thruout the south half of Florida there is no other grass
that will excel it in yield of pasturage or hay. It will also grow
and withstand winter temperatures in the more northern sec-
tion of the State; but wherever planted it makes relatively little
growth during cool weather and will be killed to the ground by
the first heavy frost. It is especially valuable for planting upon
low wet locations and will even live on ground that is subject
to overflow during short temporary intervals.

Para grass does not ordinarily produce seed in Florida. It
may be propagated from divisions of the root clump but is very
readily and more economically grown from cuttings of the par-
tially matured stems. The ground selected for Para grass should
be plowed some time prior to planting. The latter should be
performed during a warm moist period and at a season of the
year when considerable rainfall may be expected to follow. In
most sections of Florida plantings may be made during a wet
period in June or July, or if conditions do not permit at this
time later plantings may be satisfactory. Different practices
are employed in planting the cuttings. Some growers prefer
plowing the ground with a stirring plow, dropping the stems

May 3, 1919

or cuttings in every third or fourth furrow and covering by the
plow on the following round. Others find it more desirable to
scatter the stems as uniformly as possible on the plowed surface
and cover them by running a disc harrow over the field. As a
rule the latter method will be found more preferable. An even
distribution of the canes is facilitated by first running them
thru a feed cutter which leaves them in lengths of three inches
or longer. These may be distributed from a wagon with a fork
or better a scoop fork, or they may be mixed with stable manure
and scattered with a manure spreader.
Para grass makes very vigorous growth and may be used
to good advantage as a soiling crop, for pasture, or to be cured
as hay. Where conditions are favorable it yields an abundance
of good grazing and withstands trampling well. Best results
follow comparatively close grazing. The young succulent herbage
is not only more nutritious, but it is much more palatable than
growth that has become harsh and woody with age. The carry-
ing capacity of Para grass pasture will vary with conditions, but
good pastures will carry from one and a half to two head of
adult animals per acre. In the southern part of the State good
grazing may be had for a period of nine or ten months or more,
while farther north the season will be somewhat shorter.
If it is intended either as a soiling crop or for hay, this
grass should not be allowed to stand too long before cutting as
under these conditions it develops considerable woody fiber and
its palatability and feeding value is accordingly reduced. Under-
suitable conditions cuttings may often be made at intervals of
six or eight weeks.
Para grass usually shows a tendency, sooner or later, to
choke itself out or become "sod bound", this condition being made
manifest by yellow or stunted appearance of the growth. To
avoid or improve this condition and restore the yield, the grass
should be plowed under every year or two or as often as con-
ditions indicate the necessity. This is best done during the
warm season of early summer when the soil contains an abun-
dant supply of moisture.
State papers please copy.

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