Evegades Station Iimeo Report 57-11
SUMMARIZATION OF GAZING TRIAL EXPERIMENTS
R. J. Allen, Jr.
Grasses grown for pasture have value in proportion to their utilization by
grazing animals for maintenance and growth. This value is variable according to
grass species and managEment practices.
A grazing trial experiment to test these values was designed using pairs of
two acre pastures. Twio week rotational grazing periods were used except for one
pair of Roselawn St. Augustinograss pastures which wore grazd continuously"
The animals were weighed every 14 days. Data have been su'marized for three
St. Augustinegrass pairs and one pcir each of paragrass and caribgrass. The
number of animals per pasture was varied according to the amount of grass avail-
able. No supplement was fed on those 10 pastures.
The data obtained show that weight gains, both per animal and per pasture,
are generally relatively low for an 18-woek period from approximately the first
of November to about the first of March. In presenting the data, the remaining
34 weeks(17 grazing periods) have been divided into a 16-woek period from March
to late Juno, and an 18-woek period from late June through October. The ac-
companying tables summarize the results for five full years from March 1952
through February 1957.
Table 1, Summarization of 5 years' results of grazing Rosolawn St.
grass.i/ (March 1952 Foeruary 1957)
March Juno July Oct. Nov. March March Feb.
16 wks.(112 da.) 18 wks.(126 da,) 18 wks*(126 da,) 52 wks.
on pasture 112 126 126 364
per acre 3,13 3.78 1*42 2,76
acre(lbs.) 526 394 84 1004
Percent gain 52 40 8 -
Gain per Animal
per day(lbs.) 1,50 .83 .47 1.00
l/ Three pairs(six
periods and one
2-acre pastures), two pair grazed rotationally by 14-day
pair grazed continuously.
March 1, 1957
Data in Table
all times although
this was less than
est gain occurs on
1 show that there was some grazing on St. Augustinegrass at
carrying capacity varied considerably. On several occasions
one animal per acre. These figures indicate that the graat-
St. Augustinegrass during the spring months.
Table 2. Summarization of five years' results of grazing Paragrass
grassL4 (Harch 1952 February 1957)
March June July Oct. Nov. Feb. March Feb.
16 wks.(112 da.) 18 wks.(126 da*) 18 wks.(126 da.) 52 wks.
on pasture 101 126 94 321
per acre 2.51 3,54 1,6 2.6l2/
acre(lbs.) 348 483 90 920
Percent gain 38 52 10 -
Gain per animal
per acrc(lbs.) 1.37 1.08 .66 1.10L
l/ Two pairs(two 2-acre pastures of paragrass and two 2-acre pastures of
caribgrass) grazed rotationally by 14-day periods.
2/ Based on 321 days on pasture(based on 364 days this figure would be 2.30).
Table 2 shows the effect of frosts on tender grasses, Paragrass and
caribgrass lost an average of 43 days per year. These two grasses have been
combined in this Table because their performance is very similar, the principal
difference being that paragrass has shonm somewhat faster recovery after frost,
losing an average of only 36 days as against 50 days average loss for carib-
grass* In contrast to St. Augustinograss, paragrass and caribrrass gains have
been highest during the summer and early fall months.
The l004-pound gain shonv for St. Augustinegrass is the average of 892
and 1021 pounds for the two rotationally grazed pastures and 1101 pounds for
the one which was continuously grazed. The 920-pound gain shown in Table 2
is the average of 913 pounds gain for paragrass and 927 pounds for caribgrass.
Records wore kept on pangolagrass for two and one-half years. Results
were very similar to para and carib, It was discontinued due to aphid injury
and invasion by Bermuda-grass. Records were also kept on Bermuda-grass for
one and one-half years, Gains were less than one-third those for the other
grasses and the Bermuda-grass trial was discontinued.
More recently two pairs of pastures have been established with Pensacola
and Argentine bahiagrasses. These have been grazed since last November and
gains have boon moderate through the winter,
Feeding of grass silage as a winter supplement was added to this experiment
in the winter of 1955-56. A separate two-acre Roselawn St. Augustinegrass
pasture was continuously grazed, and when the carrying capacity dropped below
2.5 head per acre, St. Augustinegrass silage was fed instead of reducing the
number of animals. Three and one-third tons of silage were used over a 14-week
period to maintain five animals on this two-acre pasture. Daily gain per animal
was 0,35 pounds. If this stocking rate had been continued during the summer,
and the animals confined to a portion of the pasture which they could keep
properly grazed, it is estimated that approximately 15 tons of excess grass
could have been harvested from the ungrazcd portion of this pasture. During
the present winter, 1956-57, six animals(three per acre) have been maintained
on this same pasture* Six and three-quarters tons of silage were consumed&
There was an average daily gain per animal of 031 pounds. The possible excess
grass in this case is estimated to be about 10 to 12 tons.
This practice of feeding silage has been used on a larger scale and with
other grasses to supplement the Station breeding herds, and is mentioned in
Mimeo Report 57-12.
The paragrass and caribgrass pastures were successfully interplanted this
past fall with a combination of oats and ryegrass by using a "Pasture Dream"
sod seeding machine. The late November frost forced cessation of grazing on
these grasses and gave the interplanted seedlings a good chance to become
established. Both of these grasses produced considerably more gain this
winter than in any previous winter.
By mowing or heavily grazing these grasses and pangolagrass early in the
fall and interplanting to oats and ryograss, the time that the pastures are
out of grazing can be moved up from sometime during the winter when all pas-
tures are short, to early fall when others which may have been saved for
delayed grazing are available and still in good condition. It is essential
that the animals be removed until the interplanted seedlings have become well
Results of these trials on grazing alone, with no attempts to supplement
the pastures, indicate that St. Augustinegrass is the most satisfactory for
Everglades conditions. This apparently is due primarily to its relative frost
resistance and its ability to produce some grazing throughout the winter months.
The practice of making silage from excess summer production may change
this picture somewhat, as other grasses also make good silage, Interplanting'
may also assist in providing more uniform year-around grazing where paragrass,
caribgrass or pangolagrass pastures are involved. With more knowledge and
experience in those techniques it nay become possible to devise management
plans which will call for pastures of several different grasses, and which
will produce greater overall gains than any one grass used exclusively.