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 Front Cover
 Varieties
 Planting
 Liming and fertilization
 Other uses
 General
 Back Cover






Group Title: Agricultural Extension Service Circular 321
Title: Bahiagrass in Florida
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028034/00001
 Material Information
Title: Bahiagrass in Florida
Series Title: Circular
Physical Description: 1 folded leaf (8 p.) : ill. ; 23 x 10 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jones, D. W
University of Florida -- Agricultural Extension Service
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1968
 Subjects
Subject: Bahia grass -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: D.W. Jones.
General Note: "January 1968."
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028034
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 51255324

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Varieties
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Planting
        Page 4
    Liming and fertilization
        Page 4
    Other uses
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    General
        Page 9
    Back Cover
        Page 10
Full Text

January 1968


BAHIAGRASS IN FLORIDA


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Figure I-Argentine, Pensacola and Common Bahiograss


D. W. Jones









AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
S/ INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
o/ AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
i-. ,UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
,-.z- GAINESVILLE


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Circular 321






BAHIAGRASS IN FLORIDA
D. W. Jones
Associate Agronomist
Common bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum
Flugge) was introduced into the United States
in 1913 from Brazil and planted in tests of the
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station that
year. Several later introductions of improved
types were made, and in the late 1950's and early
1960's hybrid bahiagrasses were released.
Bahiagrasses can be grown almost anywhere
in the Coastal Plain region of the Southeast.
They are adapted to a wide range of soils and
once a sod is established can be maintained even
at extremely low fertility levels. In Florida, these
grasses are being grown throughout the entire
state for pasture, forage and turf.
These grasses can provide pasturage during
the warm season (Figure 2.). They are drought
resistant and can be grown on extremely well-
drained locations. Legumes can be grown in
stands of bahiagrass (Figure 3.) and this practice
is suggested where legumes are adapted.
VARIETIES
Pensacola is the most widely grown variety. It
was found growing in Pensacola, Florida in 1935
by Ed Finlayson, County Agent of Escambia
County at that time. Like the other bahias, this
grass has a very fibrous root system that is capa-
ble of penetrating the soil to depths of seven
feet or more. This variety has long, narrow
leaves and taller seed stalks than most other

Figure 2-Cttle grazing a Pensacola Bahigrass Pasture














Figure 3-Pensacola Bahiagrau White Clover Posture

bahias. Pensacola has some cold tolerance, but
top growth is killed by moderate frosts.
Argentine is a selection that was introduced
from Argentine in 1944. It has wider leaves and
is considered to be more palatable than Pensacola.
It is not as cold tolerant as Pensacola and does
not make as early growth in the spring. Ergot
can develop on the seed of this variety.
Paraguay and Paraguay 22 are two separate
and distinct bahiagrasses. It is confusing and
unfortunate that both varieties retain the coun-
try of origin as part of the common name.
Paraguay is of obscure origin, presumably
tracing to an introduction in 1938 from that
country. It has short, narrow, tough, hairy
leaves. It is used to some extent as a general
purpose turfgrass, but has little value as a forage
plant. This grass is sometimes called Texas bahia.
Paraguay 22 was introduced from Paraguay
in 1947. When originally collected, this selection
was PI 158822 and later this was shortened to
"Paraguay 22." This grass is quite similar to
Argentine in growth habit and cold tolerance.
The seed are not affected by ergot.
Common bahiagrass was the first bahiagrass
introduction. It has short, broad leaves that are
somewhat hairy. Seed are slow to germinate,
unless scarified, and growth is not as aggressive
as other bahias. It produces good forage, but
the yield is lower than that of the other bahias.
This variety is the least cold hardy and is not
now recommended in Florida.
Tifhi 1 and Tifhi 2 are hybrids developed at
the Coastal Plains Experiment Station, Tifton,
Georgia and released in 1957 and 1961, respec-
tively. These two grasses are quite similar to
Pensacola in all respects except yield. Tifhi 1







produces slightly more forage than Pensacola
and Tifhi 2 produces slightly more than Tifhi 1.
Seed of both are produced by harvesting seed
from fields vegetatively interplanted to two par-
ent clones that are self-sterile but cross fertile.

PLANTING
Bahiagrass should be seeded on a well prepared
seedbed. Spring plantings usually result in more
rapid establishment of a sod. However, in south-
ern Florida it may be planted at any time that
moisture is not a limiting factor. Seed should
be broadcast at 12 to 15 pounds per acre, with
a seeding attachment on a cultipacker or other ap-
propriate device, and covered with about 0 inch
of soil. Packing (with appropriate rolling device)
is important as it gives a firm, smooth seedbed,
conserves moisture and usually gives all the
coverage necessary.

LIMING AND
FERTILIZATION
If bahiagrass is expected to yield substantial
amounts of good quality forage, an adequate
liming and fertilization program must be fol-
lowed. Soil tests will indicate the kinds and
amounts of lime and fertilizer required.
Bahiagrass, on mineral soils, does best at a
pH of 5.5 to 6.5 with a minimum of 600 pounds
of CaO and 100 pounds of MgO per acre. Most
of the mineral soils in the state have levels
lower than those required and consequently lime
must be applied. One to two tons per acre of
limestone or dolomite are usually needed.
Fertilizers should be applied at planting time,
to speed up the rate of establishment, and each
year thereafter, if a high level of production is
expected. New plantings should receive, at time
of planting, about 20 pounds of nitrogen and 40
to 60 pounds each of P2Ob and KO0 per acre, fol-
lowed by an additional 40 pounds of nitrogen
per acre about 6 to 8 weeks later. Heavier min-
eral soils may require additional phosphorus at
the time they are initially brought into cultiva-
tion. Minor elements, particularly copper, zinc,
manganese and possibly other element, may be
4







produces slightly more forage than Pensacola
and Tifhi 2 produces slightly more than Tifhi 1.
Seed of both are produced by harvesting seed
from fields vegetatively interplanted to two par-
ent clones that are self-sterile but cross fertile.

PLANTING
Bahiagrass should be seeded on a well prepared
seedbed. Spring plantings usually result in more
rapid establishment of a sod. However, in south-
ern Florida it may be planted at any time that
moisture is not a limiting factor. Seed should
be broadcast at 12 to 15 pounds per acre, with
a seeding attachment on a cultipacker or other ap-
propriate device, and covered with about 0 inch
of soil. Packing (with appropriate rolling device)
is important as it gives a firm, smooth seedbed,
conserves moisture and usually gives all the
coverage necessary.

LIMING AND
FERTILIZATION
If bahiagrass is expected to yield substantial
amounts of good quality forage, an adequate
liming and fertilization program must be fol-
lowed. Soil tests will indicate the kinds and
amounts of lime and fertilizer required.
Bahiagrass, on mineral soils, does best at a
pH of 5.5 to 6.5 with a minimum of 600 pounds
of CaO and 100 pounds of MgO per acre. Most
of the mineral soils in the state have levels
lower than those required and consequently lime
must be applied. One to two tons per acre of
limestone or dolomite are usually needed.
Fertilizers should be applied at planting time,
to speed up the rate of establishment, and each
year thereafter, if a high level of production is
expected. New plantings should receive, at time
of planting, about 20 pounds of nitrogen and 40
to 60 pounds each of P2Ob and KO0 per acre, fol-
lowed by an additional 40 pounds of nitrogen
per acre about 6 to 8 weeks later. Heavier min-
eral soils may require additional phosphorus at
the time they are initially brought into cultiva-
tion. Minor elements, particularly copper, zinc,
manganese and possibly other element, may be
4






needed in some soils. If minor elements are
lacking, bahiagrass will develop slowly. For
annual maintenance of established stands, nitro-
gen should be increased to 80 to 120 pounds per
acre (in not less than two applications) and PsO2
and KsO applied at 40 to 60 pounds of each per
acre.
Bahiagrass has been compared in both clipping
and grazing trials at several locations in Florida.
Table 1 gives the forage yields of several of the
bahiagrasses and other grasses at four locations.
It will be noted that regardless of fertilization
that other grasses produced more forage than the
bahias in southern Florida. In western Florida the
bahias produced slightly more than Coastal
Bermuda.
Table 2 summarizes the results of grazing
trials at several stations. Soils and fertilization
differences existed but were the same at each
location. The trials conducted at Belle Glade were
on organic soils and all others were on mineral
soils. At Belle Glade, Argentine bahia produced
more than Pensacola; both produced more than
Pangola, less than St. Augustine and about the
same as Para. Range Cattle Station work indi-
cates little difference between Pensacola and
Argentine bahia and that both produce more
than Coastal Bermuda and less than Pangola at
that location. At Gainesville, Pensacola bahia
and Coastal Bermuda produced similarly with
Pangola slightly inferior. Work at the West Flor-
ida Station at Jay indicates that in that area
Pensacola produces slightly more animal gain
than Argentine bahia and that both are more
productive than Coastal Bermuda under similar
conditions. Results of grazing trials with Para-
guay 22 are not available at this time.

OTHER USES
Bahiagrass can be used satisfactorily in a ro-
tation with other crops. Figure 4 shows regrowth
of Pensacola bahia in a field that had been planted
to corn. Recovery of bahiagrass can be quite
rapid since there is usually sufficient seed and
plants that survive cultivation to quickly re-
establish a sod. One disadvantage to this use is






TABLE 1-DRY FORAGE YIELD PER ACRE AT SEVERAL FLORIDA LOCATIONS


Fertilization
Lbs. per acre
N PO, K.O


Pensacola Paraguay 22 Argentine Tifhi-1 Common Pangola Coastal
Bahia Bahia Bahia Bahia Bahia Bermuda
Ibs. lbs. Ibs. lbs. Ibs. Ibs. Ibs.


Ft Pierce
1962-63 400 200 200 10,170

Ona
1961- 62 90 90 90 8,950
1961-62 180 180 180 10,740


Gainesville
1944-46 30
1948-49 30
1960-65 106


11,000
11,390


30 4,500
30 2,072
40 9,402


Jay
1953- 56* 50 25 25 3,769
100 50 50 4,953
200 100 100 7,779


11,145


13,390 9,350
12,580 11,110



7,841
10,089


3,411
4,557 ....
7,299 ......


17,755


11,610
13,940


14,570


11,080
16,880


6,998 5,844


4,457


3,182
4,289
7,051


*Average of three years data. 1956 not Included.





TABLE 2-AVERAGE ANNUAL ANIMAL GAINS PE--AcRE

Fertilization Pensacola Argentine Tifhi-1 Common Pangola Coastal St. Augustine Para
Lbs. per acre Bahia Bahia Bahia Bahia Bermuda
N PO. LO lbs Ibs. Ibs. Ibs. Ibs. lbs. Ibs. lbs.

Belle Glade
1951-54 ............ .. 730 ...... 914 840
1959- 64 '/ 777 899 .... 743 ...... 1,073 849

Ona
1949-51 30 30 30 152 102 74 202 129 ...
1952-54 81 56 56 215 216 149 338 200
-- 1960-64 200 100 100 383 ...... 439 ...... 428

Gainesville
1943-47 30 30 30 212 ........ 212 225
1948- 50* 0 50 50 342 .......... ..... 294 827

Jay
1952- 54 0 70 70 511 405 .... ...482
1955 100 50 50 516 500 .... 406
200 100 100 576 66 .... 429 .
400 200 200 668 608 ..412

1/ Fertilization based on defielencles as shown by oUl tests.
*Clovers interplanted in this trial.






















Figure 4--Corn Grown Following Ponsocolo Bahiagrao Sod

the heavy power requirement necessary to pre-
pare a seed bed from a dense bahiagrass sod.
Extensive use has been made of bahiagrass,
particularly Pensacola, in preventing erosion and
stabilizing highway road shoulders (Figure 5).
Once a good sod has been established, it can be
maintained at an extremely low cost. This grass
has made an outstanding contribution to high-
way safety in Florida.














Figure 5--ensacola Bohiograss Growing on Road Shoulders of
a Florida Highway

Bahiagrasses are being used extensively for
lawn purposes in Florida. Where low maintenance
is desired and quality is not important, these
grasses can be used satisfactorily. The deep root
system enables them to survive under dry con-
ditions, yet they grow quite well on poorly-
8






drained soils. They form a coarse turf that looks
good from a distance. The greatest disadvantage
of bahiagrass for this purpose is the tall seed
spikes that are produced during the summer.
Seed of the variety Pensacola can be readily
harvested by combine with yields of 200-500
pounds per acre, which can add to farm income
when the grass is not needed for grazing
purposes.

GENERAL
Bahiagrass can be grown in every county
in Florida. There are certain advantages and
disadvantages to using bahiagrass. Some of the
strong points are their ability to withstand
drought and to maintain a sod at extremely low
fertility levels. Legumes can be grown quite
satisfactorily with the bahiagrasses. The less
desirable features of these grasses include the
lower production in some areas when compared
with certain other grasses. When mature, all of
the bahias are extremely fibrous, unpalatable and
low in feeding value.













































































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AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
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