Grass

MULATO GRASS II

Brachiara Hybrid

Mulato II is a Brachiaria hybrid variety is a high yielding and nutritious perennial forage grass that is suitable for large and small ruminants for increased beef and milk production. Produced an average of 36 t/ha of dry forage biomass on an annual basis (three harvests) under bimodal season rainfed conditions. The leafy, vigorous, medium height (80-100 cm) the grass is drought tolerant and is well adapted to low fertility and acidic soils in the tropics and subtropics.

STRENGTH

  • Well-adapted to acid and neutral soils of moderate to low fertility
  • Tolerates high soil aluminum levels
  • Very persistent, even under seasonally dry conditions
  • Productive, capable of sustaining high stocking rates and grazing pressures
  • High nutritional value of ruminants
  • Maintains green leaf of relatively high nutritional value into seasonally dry periods
  • Responds well to nitrogen fertiliser

LIMITATIONS

  • Low seed production may limit availability
  • Slow to establish if dormant seed is slow
  • Dense growth means careful management needed to maintain companion legumes

FEEDING VALUE

  • The Mulato Grass II has excellent nutritional qualities in terms of raw protein and digestibility. Both parameters vary depending on the grass age and the time of the year, normally having a protein potential between 14 and 22%
  • Digestibility levels (in vitro) in 25 to 30 days regrowth between 55 and 60%
  • These nutritional qualities combined with excellent dry matter production and palatability, result in higher meat and dairy production
Period between harvest after first harvest 25 to 45 days
Minimum Height to take the animals out to graze/Mow for hay production 25 cm
Soil fertility requirements Medium to high
Adaptation for use at altitudes Between 0 - 1.200m above sea level
Adaptation to acidic soils High
Resistance to bedbug attacks> High
Forage uses Grazing hay, silage or green
Plant growth habit Very leafy, semi - prostrate
Appetence Excellent
Digestibility High
Protein potential Up to 18%
Tolerance to flooding Low
Sowing rate 100 grams per 1 plot of land
Sowing Method
  • Suitable for direct sowing
  • Can alos be broadcast and transplanted
Direct Sowing
  • Interval of 4 by 4 feet
  • 3 -4 seeds per whole
Number of says after establishment for a first use (mowing for grazing) 70 to 80 days on average

Ecological Requirement

  • Rainfall: At least 700mm annually
  • The grass responds well under irrigation in arid and semi-arid areas and under rain fed conditions wet areas
  • Altitude: Above 1800m above sea level
  • Temperature: 19 - 30 C
  • Soils: Well drained soils with medium fertility and PH ranging from 5- 8

Planting - Sawing - Management

Mulato Grass is highly drought tolerant

Propagation

  • The grass is propagated either through seeds or vegetative materials (root splits and stem cutting)

Seedbed Preparation

  • Plough the land early before the rains. Harrow the seedbed to fine tilth and add well decomposed organic manure at a rate of 4 tons per acre. Add 100kg TSP fertilizer incase the soils has phosphorus deficiency

Planting

  • Ensure that planting coincide with the rains for easy grass establishment
  • Planting from seeds: Make small furrows on the nursey 1 - 2cm deep and sow seeds. Cover the seed lightly with soil and then mulch using dry grass. Transplant seedlings 6 - 8 weeks after sowing
  • Alternatively direct seeding can be done, make furrows 2cm deep in the main seedbed then drill seeds in the furrows and cover lightly with soil. Mulch using dry grass to conserve soil moisture for easy grass establishment
  • Seed ranges from 2.5kgs to 3kgs per acre
  • Planting from root splits and stem cuttings: Obtain root or stem cuttings from healthy and mature mother plants, plant the materials on each hill at a spacing of 25cm by 50cm. One acre will require roughly 32000 splits

Fertilization

  • Fertilizer and manure application depend on pasture production system used. Grass grown under cut and carry production system will require fertilizer and manure application as pasture under this system removes mist of plant nutrients from the soil
  • Under such pasture production system add 4 tones of manure and 80kg CAN acre to improve pasture production, quality and quantity

Weed Management

  • Remove all weeds from the pasture field especially during early stages of pasture establishment. Achieve this through manual weeding through light tillage