Forage: Bahiagrass - Mississippi's Summer Pasture
Bahiagrass, a warm-season perennial grass, is grown on more than 1 million acres in Mississippi. Most of this acreage is in central and south Mississippi and is mainly used for grazing and hay, with some of it harvested for seed. Bahiagrass is ideally adapted to the droughty, sandy soils of the lower Coastal Plain. It produces good grazing on upper Coastal Plain soils, except in extreme north Mississippi, where temperatures are lower in winter.
Bahiagrass forms a deep, extensive root system in which few other plants are able to invade after a sod has developed. It tolerates a wider range of soil conditions than other grasses, produces moderate yields under low fertility, and withstands close grazing. It is planted from seed, and it is also a heavy seed producer that begins putting up seed heads in early summer. In fact, it is often spread by cattle grazing the heads and carrying the seed to new pastures where it germinates in the manure after passing through the cattle.
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