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Commodities: Field Crops: Forages

Managing Brunswickgrass in Bahiagrass Seed Fields


Imagine buying seed only to find out that it was contaminated with a major weedproblem. What if cattle refuse to eat the weed, and it aggressively competed with the desired species. Unfortunately, that is the issue with brunswickgrass contamination in bahiagrass.

Brunswickgrass (Paspalum nicorae) is closely related to bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). So close, in fact, that the casual observer would have a hard time telling them apart. The seed produced by both species are so similar in size that it is practically impossible to separate the two when harvesting a seed field or cleaning the seed.

Still, livestock can tell them apart. Livestock readily consume bahiagrass and will only eat brunswickgrass as a last resort. This differential grazing pressure gives brunswickgrass a competitive advantage, and a few plants of brunswickgrass can turn into a thick stand within a few years.

For bahiagrass seed growers, harvesters, and processors, the challenge is to supply high quality seed that is free of brunswickgrass. Every member of the bahiagrass seed industry should learn to identify brunswickgrass in the field, as well as learning how to distinguish the seed of the two species. If the levels of brunswickgrass contamination do not decrease from current levels, new regulations from the state agencies that assure seed quality will likely come into place. Some of these regulations could severely impact or even devastate the industry in some areas.

If you are a bahiagrass seed grower, custom harvester, or processor, you are STRONGLY urged to attend an educational training being held at the UGA Tifton Campus on Monday, February 12th. This meeting will be held from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the conference room in the NESPAL building.


Registration for this event is $15 paid at the time of the event (check or cash) to cover the cost of lunch and refreshments. An RSVP is required by FEB. 9th. To RSVP and let us know who plans to attend this meeting, contact Cathy Felton (email or 706-310-3464) with the names of participants. Please note, Cathy is a part time employee, so if it is after noon, please contact her by email.

Topics Covered at This Meeting

  • Description & history of brunswickgrass
  • Contamination of bahiagrass seed fields
  • Id’ing bahiagrass & brunswickgrass
  • Seed processing challenges
  • Are herbicides an option?
  • Seed industry perspectives & discussion

Click here for the latest draft of the meeting's agenda.