Pasture Renovation

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We’ll get calls about pastures that have been taken over by centipedegrass which is not suited as a forage for animals to graze. These pastures need to undergo renovation and re-establish a good forage variety. Centipedegrass can withstand a lower pH than bermudagrass – usually in the low 5’s. When we see pastures taken over by centipede, it usually means the pasture has not been limed in some time.

The first step in renovation is killing out the current grass species. This is better accomplished in the late summer/early fall with glyphosate. It can then be followed up by another spray, followed by planting a winter grass, like ryegrass. The next spring, that site needs to be cut or grazed real close and then sprig/seed your desired grass. UGA Extension Forage Agronomist Dr. Dennis Hancock has information on the UGA Forages website on specific grass species. (Click on Establishment Guidelines on the left and scroll down.) Here is what he says about centipede:

“Renovating an old common bermudagrass stand is very difficult. Even with repeated glyphosate sprays, there will be some survival of old rhizomes. Some tillage in combination with glyphosate sprays with help expose rhizomes and increase percent control. Common bermudagrass can be more completely controlled if the land can be rotated for one to three years to crops where intensive grass control measures can be employed, in addition to using the glyphosate sprays.”

I took a soil sample of this pasture above, and you can see how low the pH has dropped.

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