Grasses or forage that grows well in shaded areas

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erudel

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I have 4 acres that are divided into two pasture that has large amounts of trees (in Waller TX, about 35 miles North of Houston). They work great in the winter for rye grass, but I am looking for something that the cows can graze on during the summer. Something that grows well in shaded areas and that would work well for the cows. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
 

4CTophand

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erudel":2819n3mm said:
I have 4 acres that are divided into two pasture that has large amounts of trees (in Waller TX, about 35 miles North of Houston). They work great in the winter for rye grass, but I am looking for something that the cows can graze on during the summer. Something that grows well in shaded areas and that would work well for the cows. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
yes pensacola bahia will grow in the shade but is real stemmy in summer and once you get it you will have it forever although there are herbiciides like Cimmaron that will kill it -- bahia grass is low in CP and TDN is about 50%. I have seen that black muck land down in Waller County Texas as my grandpa used to own a farm down there back in 1940 thru 1990 near FM 1960 and 290. lets see as I recall with plenty of water st augustine would grow like heck in the shade

T
 

novatech

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4CTophand":3cquk0kc said:
erudel":3cquk0kc said:
I have 4 acres that are divided into two pasture that has large amounts of trees (in Waller TX, about 35 miles North of Houston). They work great in the winter for rye grass, but I am looking for something that the cows can graze on during the summer. Something that grows well in shaded areas and that would work well for the cows. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
yes pensacola bahia will grow in the shade but is real stemmy in summer and once you get it you will have it forever although there are herbiciides like Cimmaron that will kill it -- bahia grass is low in CP and TDN is about 50%. I have seen that black muck land down in Waller County Texas as my grandpa used to own a farm down there back in 1940 thru 1990 near FM 1960 and 290. lets see as I recall with plenty of water st augustine would grow like heck in the shade

T
I agree. St Augustine does well in the shade. But I cannot seem to find the TDN for it anywhere. Is it over the 50% on the Bahia?
 

4CTophand

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ST AUGUSTINE GRASS SHADE TOLERANT CINCH BUG PROBLEMS BIG N FEEDER REQUIRES LOTS OF WATER BUT HEY WE ARE TALKING WALLER COUNTY NO PROBLEM THERE


CRUDE PROTEIN = 13 TO 15 %
TDN EARLY SPRING 53 % TO FALL DOWN TO 31%

T
 

novatech

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4CTophand":3rmipmg5 said:
ST AUGUSTINE GRASS SHADE TOLERANT CINCH BUG PROBLEMS BIG N FEEDER REQUIRES LOTS OF WATER BUT HEY WE ARE TALKING WALLER COUNTY NO PROBLEM THERE


CRUDE PROTEIN = 13 TO 15 %
TDN EARLY SPRING 53 % TO FALL DOWN TO 31%

T
May have to try it. Anything beats sedge.
 

SRBeef

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I'm not very familiar with grazing in Texas but have heard some folks recommend using clover there. Some varieties are somewhat shade tolerant.
 

4CTophand

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SRBeef":2fu6wzuj said:
I'm not very familiar with grazing in Texas but have heard some folks recommend using clover there. Some varieties are somewhat shade tolerant.
True that -- but if you have shade tree kinda cows that like to hang out in the shade there wont be much clover left after a Waller County Texas deluge of 3 inches on any given afternoon.
 

1982vett

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novatech":3uj2kcvo said:
4CTophand":3uj2kcvo said:
ST AUGUSTINE GRASS SHADE TOLERANT CINCH BUG PROBLEMS BIG N FEEDER REQUIRES LOTS OF WATER BUT HEY WE ARE TALKING WALLER COUNTY NO PROBLEM THERE


CRUDE PROTEIN = 13 TO 15 %
TDN EARLY SPRING 53 % TO FALL DOWN TO 31%

T
May have to try it. Anything beats sedge.

Makes a nice lawn but crappy pastures however it might be an improvement over nutsedge.
 

novatech

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1982vett":oqjcxzqf said:
novatech":oqjcxzqf said:
4CTophand":oqjcxzqf said:
ST AUGUSTINE GRASS SHADE TOLERANT CINCH BUG PROBLEMS BIG N FEEDER REQUIRES LOTS OF WATER BUT HEY WE ARE TALKING WALLER COUNTY NO PROBLEM THERE


CRUDE PROTEIN = 13 TO 15 %
TDN EARLY SPRING 53 % TO FALL DOWN TO 31%

T
May have to try it. Anything beats sedge.

Makes a nice lawn but crappy pastures however it might be an improvement over nutsedge.
If anybody caught me sprigging it I would have to tell them it was going to be a picnic area for the cows.
:lol:
Just an added note; His first post was that he had 9 acres. Now with shade he could put maybe 1 cow.
With 9 acres and cut down the trees, improve the pasture, maybe 3 and you be stretching it to raise 4 in Waller, Texas. I am 30 min. away and figure 1 cow per 4 acres on decent pasture.
 

4CTophand

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http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepub ... ustine.pdf

Rotational grazing
St. Augustinegrass can be used as a pasture grass, although
its herbage is considered to be of low quality,
declining with age. In southern Florida on organic soils,
livestock fed St. Augustinegrass had more gain per acre
than with bahiagrass or pangolagrass (digitgrass). In
another Florida study, a summary of 10 years of data
showed average animal consumption of about 60,000
lb/acre of green foliage containing about 9000 lb of total
digestible nutrients. Consider a grass-legume mixture
to improve forage quality and to improve vegetational
diversity in the farm
 

novatech

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4CTophand":16gmbhj0 said:
http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/CoverCrops/StAugustine.pdf

Rotational grazing
St. Augustinegrass can be used as a pasture grass, although
its herbage is considered to be of low quality,
declining with age. In southern Florida on organic soils,
livestock fed St. Augustinegrass had more gain per acre
than with bahiagrass or pangolagrass (digitgrass). In
another Florida study, a summary of 10 years of data
showed average animal consumption of about 60,000
lb/acre of green foliage containing about 9000 lb of total
digestible nutrients. Consider a grass-legume mixture
to improve forage quality and to improve vegetational
diversity in the farm
I am certain there is more than one variety of St. Augustinegrass. I am just as certain that the people that wrote the article did not mean the the variety used for lawn is as good as what they were using. Around here when you mention St. Augustinegrass everyone assumes you are talking about carpet grass not some variety selected for a pasture. You did not mention it either. For several years I watched cattle being grazed on an unknown variety of St. Augustinegrass. It was later harvested for use in landscaping. That particular variety was not near as good as what the article spoke of.
As an added note I have St. Augustinegrass growing in a pasture adjacent to Bahia. The Bahia out grows it 10 to one.
You can even come see the combo in my yard. Te Bahia will take it over if I let it.
 
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erudel

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I have a total of 9 acres. 4 acres that are shaded, but the other five has a few trees and is covered in Bahia. Covered well enough to carry 6 cows over the summer of 2007 with rotating all the pastures (total of 4 pastures). It wasn't as good this summer due to lack of rain in July & August. I am looking to improve all of the pastures but I would like to focus on the 4 shaded acres this year. I have rye grass on all 9 acres now and rotating pasture every 7 to 10 days is working good at this time. I did not think of St. Augustinegrass for pastures but I would be afraid of lack of rain, just because we did not get much rain over the summer of this year. If I would have seeded it in 2007 I would have it running everywhere, but it was a good year for rain.

I know someone that uses clover that lives between Hockley & Cypress about 30 minutes south of me, but I do not know what kind of luck he is having with it.

Thanks for the suggestions. Let me know if you have any more.
 

novatech

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erudel":xd22ejot said:
I have a total of 9 acres. 4 acres that are shaded, but the other five has a few trees and is covered in Bahia. Covered well enough to carry 6 cows over the summer of 2007 with rotating all the pastures (total of 4 pastures). It wasn't as good this summer due to lack of rain in July & August. I am looking to improve all of the pastures but I would like to focus on the 4 shaded acres this year. I have rye grass on all 9 acres now and rotating pasture every 7 to 10 days is working good at this time. I did not think of St. Augustinegrass for pastures but I would be afraid of lack of rain, just because we did not get much rain over the summer of this year. If I would have seeded it in 2007 I would have it running everywhere, but it was a good year for rain.

I know someone that uses clover that lives between Hockley & Cypress about 30 minutes south of me, but I do not know what kind of luck he is having with it.

Thanks for the suggestions. Let me know if you have any more.
Clover is a cool season forage, same as your rye.
You definitely are a better grass manager than me.
 

1982vett

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Well their is several things to consider. Saint Augustine with adequate water and fertilizer will grow 4-5 inches a week if the Texas sun is not beating down on it (ever try to go 7 days without mowing your yard when you have been getting an inch of rain a week)? If you plant Saint Augustine you will have to destroy it to get ryegrass to grow in the fall. First frost and the Saint Augustine is toast till late spring.

SRBeef said clover but again in Waller, Texas it (like ryegrass) is toast by June. I really don't thing that their is a forage grass that will do much in shade. Bermuda might work depending on what "large amounts of trees" actually means. Scattered trees that gives partial shade thru the day might be all right. Dense shade all day probably won't work.
 
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erudel

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It is partial shade, I guess. There are a few spots that get decent sun but there is more spots that get shade than sun. Is there different types of Bermuda? Is there a grass that would still work with the ryegrass in the winter? Do you have to replant clover every year or will it come back up on it's own? I have never used clover.
 

1982vett

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erudel":18q9sdf0 said:
It is partial shade, I guess. There are a few spots that get decent sun but there is more spots that get shade than sun. Is there different types of Bermuda? Is there a grass that would still work with the ryegrass in the winter? Do you have to replant clover every year or will it come back up on it's own? I have never used clover.
Many different types of bermuda. Jiggs or Coastal will probably be the best choice from the sprig varieties. Easier to get started, but the Tifton 85 plugs increase the odds of getting it going. Something with Cheyenne or Giant for a seeded variety. Ryegrass can still be part of the grazing program. Depending on the variety of clover, some varieties readily reseed. Some may need over seeding every few years or so.


Check this site out. It has a lot of useful information. http://foragesoftexas.tamu.edu/establish.html
Their are other sites as well that have great information.
 

novatech

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You might also try thinning out the limbs on the trees thus reducing the amoun of shade.
I also beleive that grass grown inthe shade has a reduced amount of nutrients.
 

4CTophand

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"Just an added note; His first post was that he had 9 acres. Now with shade he could put maybe 1 cow.
With 9 acres and cut down the trees, improve the pasture, maybe 3 and you be stretching it to raise 4 in Waller, Texas. I am 30 min. away and figure 1 cow per 4 acres on decent pasture"

Thats pretty bad grazing I'd say -- I imagine he cant clear it with the rules about destroying wetlands these days or maybe he can since Houston is one big wetland. 1 cow per 4 acres hmmmm why dont yall plant some Tiff Leaf 3 Millet summer grazing-- we run 8 cow/calf pairs per acre on it in June, July and August CP 17 to 21 % TDN 71% and the best thing about it is it needs 1/2 inch to emerge and 1 inch per month to grow like hell and doesnt mind having wet feet--- although the Favorite parasite in Waller County really enjoys eating it up in September---- Cinchbug.
 

PatWentworth

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Using St. Augustine (SA) for cattle is an interesting idea. SA does well in deep soils with little or no irrigation IF you can keep it 4 to 6 inches deep. Cattle will quickly graze it too short.

Rather than worry with "shade tolerant grasses" why not simply raise the low limbs of the trees. Raising the canopy of the trees to 9 to 12 feet above grade will allow for "lateral light" - morning or afternoon sun - to penetrate beneath the trees in amounts large enough to sustain most grasses.

If it's still too shady, consider thinning (removing) some of the trees. Constant shady areas don't grow grass because the cattle stay beneath the trees too long - compacting the soil and building up large manure piles. By raising the low limbs, the cattle will get up and move around the trees following the shade or simply graze more in the open fields.
 

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