Cattle grazing BahiaGrass

Bahia grass is a good low input warm season lawn and pasture grass. Bahia can be easily planted from grass seed and provides a decent "medium utility" turf grass lawn in Southern state areas. Bahia turf requires a moderate amount of lawn grass care, maintenance and mowing
Bahia grass is a good all-around purpose grass that has increased in use due to it's ability to survive periods of drought. It is also a relatively low maintenance grass with less disease and insect problems than some of the other warm season grasses.
This warm season perennial from South America was imported into the Southern USA states over 70+ years ago. Primarily used extensively for beef production in pastures it has also gained favor as a good low maintenance lawn grass for use in the deep South.

The establishment rate for Bahia is somewhat slow, taking from 3-4 months to two years to fully establish a quality sod. Higher seeding rates can help accelerate establishment time. Bahia grass is a perennial grass that lasts indefinitely. For additional forage and land building purposes it is possible to plant seasonal legumes or grasses in the Bahia. The grass is easily managed and seed production is a secondary crop benefit for many farmers and ranchers in the South.

Drought resistance rate is high because of the deep and extensive root system that extends many feet into the soil.Bahia grass roots can extend as deep as 8-10 feet. This is a suitable grass to use on dry sandy soils and has extensive use as a soil builder crop rotation grass and for general forage pasture use in the Southern states.

Tifton 9 Bahia grass is an improved selection of Pensacola Bahia Grass. Developed by Dr. Glenn Burton of the USDA, as an improved pasture grass offering more forage yields, higher protein value, and a longer growing season. Tifton 9 is a finer leaf Bahia, great for pastures and erosion control areas, and has a nice narrow med-fine green leaf. Tifton 9 requires minimum maintenance attention which means it needs less water less fertilizer and less work! With a very well developed root system, Tifton 9 is great for soil erosion requirements and for drought tolerance.

Beef cattle operations in the southeastern United States rely on forage based diets. Unfortunately for many producers in this region, particularly those dependent upon bahiagrass, the required forage quality, quantity, or both is limited at certain times of the year. During these times, cattle grazing bahiagrass as the sole diet may not be able to consume sufficient energy to meet the requirements for a preferred level of performance. Bahiagrass can also be deficient in causing producers to rely on grain, protein products, or liquid supplements to make up for the nutritional shortfalls.

Digestibility of DM and CP for the hay alone was 57.3 and 45.4%, which represents typical mature bahiagrass, one of the best forages, either as hay or standing forage, for wintering cows in the Gulf Coast regions of the United States. The DM digestibility would meet the requirements for dry, pregnant, mature cows in the last trimester of pregnancy and possibly would meet the requirements of lactating cows with low to average milk production. It is very impressive that one forage alone can satisfy the needs of a lactating cow.