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Bareno Brome Grass

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Brome grasses are group of several distinct species, including some useful forage types, as well as some weedy species. Bromes are large-seeded and vary from short-term to perennial in nature. They are mostly used on well-drained soil types of moderate fertility. Brome grasses are usually sown as a sole stand, but may be used with cocksfoot, phalaris or tall fescue. One of the key attractions is that bromes contain no endophyte and do not create animal health concerns such as ryegrass staggers or phalaris toxicity. They remain nutritious and palatable when used as standing feed in summer. With inclusion of clovers, brome grass pastures are productive and useful for most stock classes. Bareno pasture brome (Bromus valdivianus) is suited to summer dry, well drained soils. It is more perennial in nature than prairie grass, tolerates harder grazing than prairie grass and can be rotationally grazed or set stocked. Unlike grazing brome, Bareno can grow well in mildly acidic soils with good drainage and reasonable fertility. Bareno pasture brome has the added benefit of being much later flowering than grazing brome, extending the feed quality into early summer. In many respects pasture brome offers the grazing flexibility of prairie grass together with the persistence of a grazing brome, and improved productivity where ryegrass is of marginal utility.

Key features
• Long-term pasture in sites that struggle to hold ryegrass
• Alternative to, or companion for cocksfoot or phalaris
• Grazing high quality feed well into summer
• Quality grass for sites with lighter or well-drained soil types
• Suitable elevated or cool climate areas that are typically summer dry

Key benefits
• Standout permanent pasture for summer dry, free draining soils
• Smaller seed size and lower sowing rates than other bromes
• Can be rotationally grazed or periodically set-stocked
• Tolerant of cockchafers and not attacked by argentine stem weevil
• No concerns with seed borne smut diseases
• Endophyte free and no animal health concerns

Variety Management / Agronomy
Bareno pasture brome grows best in cool or temperate areas with optimal growth between 10 – 30oC. It is very cold hardy and more heat tolerant than ryegrass. Use establishment methods such as stale-seed bed, or a targeted herbicide program to reduce the weed-seed burden in the paddock prior to sowing, especially grass weeds. Bareno is best sown with soil temperatures of at least 12oC in early-mid autumn or in early spring as establishment below 10oC may be unsatisfactory. Companion grasses should be sown at rates that do not outcompete the Bareno, although establishment is usually more rapid than fescue or cocksfoot. Bareno is a good grass option for pastures requiring a high legume content and clover mixes are highly recommended.

Sowing rates: sole grass, drilled 20 – 25kg/ha In grass mixes 10 – 20kg/ha
Sowing depth: 10 – 15 mm

Bareno will require standard pasture fertility levels to maintain productivity, and will respond well to improved fertility. Bareno and companion legumes will need maintenance of phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and other elements provided to ensure continued performance. Initial and regular soil testing is recommended. Once established, Bareno pastures may be rotationally grazed to 3–4 cm residuals, or be used for period of set stocking. Where possible, re-graze stands at around 20–25cm in height to optimise feed quality. In terms of leaf stage, Bareno yield and quality is at the most productive between 5 and 6 leaves of growth prior to grazing. Hay making is possible in good seasons, ensuring that fertility is maintained after baling. Bareno pasture brome has a good degree of tolerance to cockchafers, and is avoided by argentine stem weevils.

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