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PSS-2263 Fertilizing Bermudagrass Hay and Pasture

Bermudagrass is the single most important warm-season forage grass grown in Oklahoma.  It is well adapted to the Oklahoma climate and soil types, which makes it relatively easy to maintain.  It has the potential to produce high yields of high-quality hay and pasture.  Unfortunately, much of the bermudagrass in Oklahoma produces less than its full potential.  With adequate fertilization, some of the older bermudagrass varieties have the potential to produce up to 3 to 4 tons of forage per acre.  Newer bermudagrass varieties can produce between 6 to 9 tons of forage per acre with a high level of management.


PSS-2583 Choosing, Establishing, and Managing Bermudagrass Varieties in Oklahoma

Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is used for pasture and hay across much of Oklahoma and the southern U.S. It is an introduced, perennial, sod-forming grass that serves as the principle forage base for many livestock enterprises. Bermudagrass can be an important component of a forage production system because of its high forage production potential, ability to withstand drought and close grazing, and the absence of devastating insect and disease pests. Bermudagrass is best adapted to sandy loam soils in central and eastern Oklahoma where annual precipitation is about 28 inches per year or more.


PSS-2591 Bermudagrass Pasture Management

Bermudagrass is a valuable forage resource across much of Oklahoma.  It is tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions and offers several management options, including grazed pasture, hay production, and also as stockpiled forage.  In areas where it is adapted, it can survive with minimal inputs, but it is best managed using more intensive management practices.  It produces an extensive root system and is somewhat drought tolerant.  Bermudagrass responds well to fertilization and can produce a large amount of dry matter for hay production or grazing when moisture is adequate.


PSS-2596 Sandbur Control in Bermudagrass Pasture

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) is one of the most common introduced warm-season forages in Oklahoma pastures and serves as the forage base for many livestock enterprises. Its popularity among producers is due to its high forage production potential, drought resistance, grazing tolerance and low pest and disease pressure. However, bermudagrass pastures can be easily infested by weeds if they are not properly managed. Sandbur is one of the most challenging weeds affecting this system due to loss of palatability. Different species of sandbur can invade bermudagrass pastures, including field sandbur (Cenchrus spindex Cav.), longspine sandbur (Cenchrus longispinis Hackel Fern.) and Southern sandbur (Cenchrus echinatus L.). They must be removed or controlled to prevent reductions in forage yield and palatability. Control mechanisms do not differ between species; therefore, it will simply be referred to the species complex as “sandbur.”

PSS-2598 Johnsongrass in Pastures: Weed or Forage?

Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense L.) is a warm-season grass. Originally from the Mediterranean region, it was introduced to North America in the 1800s as a forage alternative. The name “Johnsongrass” refers to Colonel William Johnson, who introduced this species to his river-bottom farm in Alabama in the 1840s. Today, Johnsongrass is found in all states except Minnesota, and is considered a noxious weed in 19 states (NRCS, 2016). Johnsongrass is popularly known as “the weed we love to hate and hate to love.” We “hate to love” it because it is one of the most common weeds in 30 different crops including corn, sorghum, cotton and soybeans. It also serves as a host for several insects, disease pathogens and nematodes of corn and sorghum. On the other hand, we “love to hate” it because it is not only a valuable forage due to its high yield, palatability and quality, but also is successful in reducing soil erosion as a plant cover alternative (Warwick and Black, 1983).