Katambora Rhodes grass is a versatile subtropical perennial that is adapted to a wide range of soil types and is easily established to produce high quality forage and hay (if cut at the right time). In a grass or legume mix, Katambora Rhodes displays rapid growth in both irrigated and dryland systems, displaying superior water use efficiency compared with other subtropical varieties. Use as a permanent pasture or annual forage.
In regions with extremely cold winters or long dry seasons, Katambora Rhodes can act as an annual and can also be used for erosion control. Due to its growth habit, Katambora Rhodes can restore soil structure and improve organic matter levels.
Katambora Rhodes grass is well adapted to a wide range of well drained soils but prefers well-structured loams and clays of volcanic origin with a soil pH between 5-7. Provided fertility is adequate, Katambora Rhodes grass grows on most well drained soils, except very heavy clays.
It is very tolerant of high soil sodium levels and responds to phosphorus in poorer soils. When up to 300 kg/ha of Nitrogen is applied, a linear yield and crude protein response is seen, as long as other nutrients are adequately supplied. For a more economical response, split applications of Nitrogen to 50‒100 kg/ha N.
Sow Katambora Rhodes grass seed in areas that experience between 650mm and 1500mm rainfall per annum. Although a drought tolerant variety, the drought tolerance varies depending on soil type and Katambora Rhodes grass generally doesn’t tolerate dry periods longer than 4 to 5 months.
Sow in irrigated pastures, particularly where irrigation water may be too saline for other species. Katambora Rhodes grass is tolerant of short-term flooding by moving water.
Katambora Rhodes grass is very easily established as a pure sward sow at rates between 10-15kg/ha. When sowing in a mixed pasture sward, sow Envirogro® treated Katambora Rhodes grass pasture seed between 3-5 kg/ha. Seed is best sown on the surface (and no deeper than 2 cm) of a well-prepared seedbed, followed by rolling. Pasture seed can germinate in 1‒7 days, and seedlings develop rapidly.
Katambora Rhodes grass responds to phosphorus in poorer soils. Use an establishment application of 200 - 300 kg/ha of superphosphate on less fertile soils, or if applicable 100-150kg/ha DAP when drilling. Applying Nitrogen at 46kgN/ha at 4-6 weeks after sowing in pure stands will encourage tillering and rapid establishment.
For information and sowing rates specific to your farming needs, contact your local PGG Wrightson Seeds Sales Agronomist here.
Katambora Rhodes is an extremely high producing grass if supplied with sufficient nutrients. Annual dry matter yields can range from 10‒25 t/ha, depending on soil fertility, environmental conditions and cutting/grazing management. Yields in the second year may be double those of the establishment year depending on management and environmental conditions.
To maximise production and maintain maximum quality of Katambora Rhodes grass, regular defoliation is needed. Young growth is very palatable, but after the plants have seeded they are less palatable. Katambora Rhodes grass is very tolerant of cutting or grazing and to maintain in a leafy condition should be cut on a regular basis. Too frequent cutting or grazing, such as every 14 days, leads to production losses and stand decline.
Grazing heavily in later summer will encourage winter legume growth. If managed well and cut before flowering with regular fertiliser applications (N), Katambora Rhodes grass can produce up to 6 cuts per year at 25-50 day recovery periods.
When managed well and grazed regularly Katambora Rhodes grass can potentially support 1‒4 head/ha depending on pasture productivity and soil fertility. Annual liveweight gains of up to 160 kg/head/yr and 850 kg/ha/yr are achievable. To increase animal production potential per hectare, add legumes and apply regular Nitrogen applications.
Nutritive values vary depending on age of plant material and level of available Nitrogen. Crude protein levels can range from 17% in very young leaf to 3% in old leaves, showing the importance of regular grazing and fertiliser applications.
The Envirogro seed treatment process gives PGG Wrightson Seeds tropical and subtropical pasture seed varieties a better start. Envirogro is a tailored process, that cleans, treats, and improves the bare seed count and purity of tropical, subtropical grasses and legumes.
If the species requires, the bare seed is taken through a process of de-hulling leaving only the caryopses, before being coated and cleaned again to achieve high purity.
Minimum 500mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated