Download a copy of the Superfine rhodes grass factsheet.
Superfine Rhodes Grass, a diploid Rhodes grass, is a new Katambora type. Bred in Australia, this perennial variety was selected from the market leading Tolgar Rhodes® grass, taking the greatest characteristics of this long-standing variety and significantly improving forage quality. Leaf blades are thinner again, resulting in finer textured vegetative growth, with a reduced amount of stem. The enhanced multiple tillering ability of Superfine produces a higher leaf to stem ratio, providing more consumable dry matter than Tolgar Rhodes® and other Katambora Rhodes grass varieties on the market. The result of intensive breeding selection work from Tolgar Rhodes® has resulted in Superfine Rhodes Grass ability to make top quality hay, with conditioning and drying down traits significantly improved. Less stem results in more even dry down rates and the ability to capitalise on quick initial leaf dry down gains. Maturity evenness of this variety provides higher levels of protein feed later in the season that has higher utilisation rates. Superfine demonstrates exceptional persistence and recovery after grazing or cutting. Later flowering again compared to Tolgar Rhodes® and other Katambora Rhodes grasses provides Superfine the ability to maintain feed quality longer into the season.
- Significantly later flowering than Tolgar Rhodes®
- Greater synchronisation and uniformity of flowering over similar varieties
- Later flowering than Katambora Rhodes and synthetic Rhodes grasses
- Higher leaf to stem ratio and finer stem compared to Tolgar Rhodes®
- Finer stem compared to Katambora Rhodes grass
- Highly suited to hay production – makes exceptional hay
- Well suited to grazing, reclamation and soil conservation activities
- Highly palatable – greater feed utilisation – less stem
- Higher salt tolerance than Katambora Rhodes grass
- Nematode resistant – ideal rotational strategy option
- Moderate drought, frost, cool season and acid tolerance
Suggested sowing rates (AgriCOTE coated seed)
Marginal dryland: 4–6kg/ha
Ideal dryland: 8–12kg/ha
Superfine is well suited to tropical and sub-tropical production zones and in temperate regions under certain conditions. This variety is adapted to a wide range of soil types from infertile sands to fertile loams and Brigalow clays. Rhodes grass requires adequate nutrition and some form of rotational grazing to persist successfully in the medium to long term. Diploid Rhodes grass establishes and persists well, even at low fertility, having a higher tolerance for drought and a rapid growth rate compared to tetraploid Rhodes grass species. It can however be hard to establish on heavy cracking clays. This species has moderate frost tolerance, being less affected by frost than tetraploid Rhodes grass types.
Seed can be drilled or broadcast and being a small seed, should be planted ideally at 5mm and no more than 1cm deep. Seed to soil contact is important, the use of press wheels or, on nonhard setting soils rolling after sowing, is recommended. Care should be taken not to plant in the hottest summer weather – the seed must maintain close contact with wet soil for about 3–4 days. The fluffier nature of diploid Rhodes grass tends to cause the bare seed to ‘bridge’. Coated seed provides ballistic properties, allowing seed to flow more readily. The use of AgriCOTE will greatly improve establishment success and allow the calibration of planting equipment to achieve desired planting rates with a higher degree of success.
Superfine has a more dense, leafier, prostrate growth habit with finer leaf and stems compared to Tolgar Rhodes® and Katambora varieties. A strong stoloniferous ability aids in strong establishment, tolerance of heavy grazing and long-term persistence. Superfine Rhodes Grass has the ability to dispose excess salt on the basal growth region of the plant, providing high salt tolerance abilities. Trials indicate productivity will remain between 4–10 ds/M and survive up to 20 ds/M in certain situations. Superfine Rhodes Grass being a diploid, is insensitive to day length and will flower throughout the growing season.
Rhodes grass can survive and tolerate infertile soil, however will usually be unproductive, with persistence being greatly reduced. The AgriCOTE coated seed ensures nutrients are available to the seedling during the most critical phase of establishment. Growth rates will continue to respond dramatically to increasing linear rates of nitrogen (N), while in poorer soils, very responsive to phosphorus (P). N and P fertiliser is recommended at sowing, banded away from the seed, which can be achieved via the use of a starter fertiliser. A maintenance fertiliser program is recommended to replace nutrient(s) removed by grazing or hay cutting over time, particularly at high stocking densities or under intensive hay cutting activities. Split applications of 50–150Kg/Ha N are used often. The use of a soil test will form the foundation of a suitable fertiliser program.
Compatibility (with other species)
Superfine Rhodes Grass performs well in tropical mixes and is compatible with a variety of pasture species. Grasses include buffels, digitaria, lower growing panic species (Gatton and green), brachiaria, setaria, millet and bluegrasses. It combines well with legumes such as burgundy bean, siratro, desmodium, butterfly pea, centro, glycine, coastal stylo, desmanthus, lucerne, medic, serradella and clover.
Superfine demonstrates greater persistence than both Tolgar Rhodes® and Katambora. It can be used as a permanent pasture or a short to medium-term pasture ley. Long-term persistence is dependent on ideal grazing management. Recovers well after fire and generally has poor shade tolerance.
Superfine is an excellent option for intensive hay production systems, as well as for use under intensive and extensive grazing situations. It is ideal for land reclamation, amenity, erosion control, and mine rehabilitation.
No record of toxicity in any livestock species. The low levels of oxalate in Superfine makes it an ideal species for horse pastures.
Pasture success will depend on grazing management in the first season. Do not graze until follow-up rain post planting allows seedlings to develop a strong root system and set seed - graze lightly if early feed is required. Rotational grazing practices are preferable to continuous stocking. The stand should be maintained in a leafy condition by regular grazing or cutting, since feed values decline rapidly with the onset of flowering.
Plant Breeders Rights (PBR): This variety is registered under Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) in Australia. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material is an infringement under the Plant Breeders Rights Act (1994). Any breach of this legislation will leave the grower liable for prosecution.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this brochure is from official and other sources and is considered to be reliable. It is provided in good faith and every care has been taken to ensure its accuracy. Barenbrug does not accept any responsibility for the consequences that may arise from the acceptance of recommendations or the suggestions made.