The quality of bermudagrass dropped more slowly with maturity than that of bahiagrass in a Florida study by researchers with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

They harvested Florida-44 and Tifton-85 bermudagrass and Tifton-9 bahiagrass at five- and seven-week intervals beginning June 25 at Brooksville, FL. Then they fed the warm-season grass hays to beef steers and measured the intake, digestibility and rate of passage.

Dry matter intakes were similar for all hays harvested at five-week intervals, but intakes of seven-week hay were higher for bermudagrass than for bahiagrass. At five weeks of regrowth, the digestibility of Tifton-85 and Tifton-9 was greater than that of Florida-44, whereas Tifton-85 was more digestible than Tifton-9 at seven weeks of regrowth.

The passage rate of the three five-week hays was about equal, but at seven weeks, Tifton-85 and Florida-44 both had higher passage rates than Tifton-9.

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