Early nutritive value
A tufted perennial which spreads vigorously to form a dense mat. Popular due to its versatility, it is often used for erosion control as with tobacco, due to its nematode resistance and can produce 5-7 mt of good quality hay.
Used in permanent pasture or as a short- to me- dium-term pasture ley to restore soil structure, improve organic matter levels, and reduce nem- atode numbers. Can also be under sown into maize. Makes good hay if cut at or just before very early flowering. Generally not suitable for silage . Provides fair standover roughage when mature, better than Cenchrus ciliaris and Pan- icum maximum due to its greater cold resis- tance and lower loss of dry leaves. Develops good ground cover and effectively controls ero- sion once established (needs regular defoliation to maintain cover). Also effectively suppresses woody regrowth provided trees and shrubs are not well established prior to planting the grass.
Some limitations that are faced by this variety in- clude the fact that there is a short nutritive peak in many cultivars and it has fluffy seed that is dif- ficult to sow. It is not adapted to acidic and in- fertile soils as well as requiring high fertility to persist. It also has a low shade tolerance.