Panicum maximum cv. Tanzania (Purple guinea)

Tropical forage grass and tropical pasture grass species

Tanzania guinea grass was introduced into Thailand from the Ivory Coast in the late 1980s. It was immediately accepted by Thailand farmers, because it was far more productive than common guinea grass and it produced very high yields of good quality forage. It was also easy to produce seed and so seed was readily available.

Productivity

Tanzania Guinea is a tall grass, 1.5-2.5m high, which is very suitable for cut-and-carry forage. In South America it is grazed, but in Thailand it is mainly used for cut-and-carry forage. It is the main grass for fresh grass sales in Thailand. It is a very productive leafy grass, producing between 12 and 30 t/ha dry matter per year. However, its dry matter yields are usually 28% or more lower than that of Mombasa guinea grass.

Crude protein levels

8-12% crude protein in Thailand on poor soils and 12-16% crude protein on better soils.

Animal production

In South America, cattle liveweight gains of 720 g/hd/day during the wet season and 240 g in the dry season have been achieved from grazing Tanzania guinea grass pastures.

Grazing management

Tanzania guinea grass can be either rotationally grazed or set stocked. Management depends on the farmer’s experience. All farmers in Thailand prefer cut-and-carry. Therefore cut every 40-45 days in the wet season and 60-70 days in the cool season.

Establishment

Tanzania guinea grass can be either planted in rows, 50 cm apart, or broadcast sown at 6-8 kg/ha. Sow the seed on to the soil surface, brush the seed with soil by using tree branches or large brooms. Bury the seed no more than 1-2 cm under the soil. It is easy to plant from rooted tillers. It needs well drained, good fertility soils to grow well.

Seed

Seed produced in Thailand is harvested by hand and has a purity of over 98% and germination of 70-80%. It is pure-to type with no other guinea grass seeds in Tanzania guinea grass seed from Thailand.

Tanzania guinea pasture in Thailand
Tanzania guinea pasture planted in rows in Thailand
Tanzania pasture in northern Vietnam