What to plant in drought damaged pastures in central Texas?

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Larry A. Redmon Ph.D., State Extension Forage Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Question from D.L. Kunkle in Texas:

Would seeded varieties of hybrid bermuda grass be a good choice to plant in drought damaged pastures and hayfields in central Texas? Please discuss pros and cons.

Answer from Larry A. Redmon Ph.D., State Extension Forage Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Few seeded varieties are appropriate for hay production if “production” is the goal.  One exception could be Cheyenne II, which has a higher production capability.  Seed cost would run about $100 per acre at the last price I am aware of.  Otherwise, I would stay with Coastal, Tifton 85, Tifton 44 or other hybrids developed for high yield.  In the northern part of Texas, I would lean toward Tifton 44 for its better cold tolerance.  For South Texas, Coastal is a tried and proven variety that would likely cost less than the Cheyenne II.  If hay production is simply an afterthought – if we don’t graze it, we can always bale it – then any seeded variety will work. They will not, however, have the drought tolerance of the hybrids.



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