Here on the Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch blog, we’ve shared a variety of different grass and forage options for your cattle. Each one has its own unique pros and cons. It’s important to have all the information needed so you can make an informed decision for your farm. In this blog, we’ll be covering stargrass.
Stargrass, like the other grasses we’ve mentioned, is a warm-season perennial grass. It’s a member of the bermudagrass family and is well-loved for showing amazing average daily gains for cattle that can almost double that of bahiagrass. With proper fertilization, it can also continue growing into the cool season in South Florida and some Central Florida regions.
This grass can grow well in a variety of soil types ranging from sands to clays. Stargrass doesn’t respond well to poorly drained soil, though it can tolerate the conditions for short periods. It does best in moist, well-drained fertile soil.
When planting stargrass, establish vegetatively from mature (10- to 14-week-old) stem pieces. Distribute the freshly cut plants on clean, moist, cultivated soil and cover by disking 2 to 4 inches deep. Ensure the area is completely free of common bermudagrass and all other vegetation for best results. Stargrass should be allowed a three- to four-week rest period between clippings or grazings, although that can be adjusted depending on the season and rainfall.
Why is stargrass a good choice in grass for your cattle? Choosing specific grasses can greatly influence the taste of beef, especially grass-fed beef. As mentioned, feeding cows stargrass can be extremely beneficial for weight gain. Crude protein levels stay relatively the same across different varieties, and the quality is rated as good to excellent. For a quick-establishing crop that rapidly cures into hay once harvested, this is great news.
We hope this has helped you learn more about another type of forage you could utilize on your ranch. To visit ours here at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, check out our website.