Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 100–112

Development and establishment of centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) in south-western Japan

M. HIRATA1, Y. NAGAKURA1, N. YUKI1, K. ADACHI1, R. FUJII1, T. KOYAKUMARU1, S. OGURA1, H. MORITAKE2, C. WATANABE2 AND K. FUKUYAMA3

1 Division of Grassland Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, Japan
2 Kitagawa Town Office, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
3 Sumiyoshi Livestock Science Station, Field Science Centre, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, Japan

Abstract

Five experiments were conducted at 2 sites in Miyazaki Prefecture, south-western Japan, to obtain information on the establishment of centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) as a pasture species for low-input grassland systems. Aspects studied were: the effects of seeding rate and fertiliser nitrogen on the development (increase in coverage) of centipede grass sown into a bahia grass pasture; the effects of seeding rate on the development of 2 centipede grass cultivars sown into an annual grass pasture after the final harvest; the development of centipede grass planted as sprigs at 2 densities; the effects of slope aspect (north, east, south and west) and seedbed preparation method (ND, no disturbance; BT, band tillage) on the development of centipede grass sown on a hill pasture; and the development of centipede grass sown at different times between spring and autumn at an elevation of 630 m. The results showed that: (a) centipede grass is well adapted to both cool winters and warm summers; (b) seeding rate can be reduced to 5–10 kg/ha when suffi cient time is allowed for the grass to establish fully; (c) nitrogen fertiliser should be minimised, at least in the initial year; (d) the grass is well adapted to all slope aspects; (e) BT provides more rapid coverage of grass than ND, but both methods provide satisfactory grass cover in the long term; and (f) late spring is the best sowing time for centipede grass under elevated situations.

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