Packaging practices of Guinea Grass
Authors: Taramani Yadav, Rakesh Kumar, Hardev Ram Jat

Guinea Grass

Scientific Name- Panicum maximum
Family- Poaceae
Origin- Tropical Africa


• Guinea was brought to India on Army Farms in 1793, and was grown along with old grasses
Geographical Distribution
• In India, cultivated about 1 lakh ha. in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh
Climatic Requirement
• It can be grown up to an elevation of 1,800 m. It is frost sensitive
• It is suitable for areas with an annual rainfall of 85-100 cm
• Under rain-fed conditions, it is grown for 5-6 months during rainy season and during severe cold, this grass remains dormant
• The crop performs best in warm and moist climates of tropics
• It thrives between a temperature range of 15 to 38°C

Soil and its preparation

• Guinea grass can be raised on all types of soil, except waterlogged soils and saline conditions
• Well drained medium fertile loams are the best
• It require neutral soil
• It requires a fine seedbed
• 1-2 ploughings and harrowing require



Suitable location

Green Fodder yield (t/ha)


Kerala for rainfed conditions



South, north east, east and central India


PGG-4, PGG-9

Hills, North-west and central India


PGG-13, PGG-14

Central India and Hills


Crop Mixture

• Guinea grass can be grown mixed with cowpea, guara, and rice bean in the summer in the Northern India
• It can grown mixed with leguminous fodder crops
• Molasses grass and giant star grass can also be grown in association with guinea grass for covering the ground

Seed and Sowing time

• It is propagated by seeds as well as stem cuttings/root slips
• 1.25 lakhs of slips are required
• A seed rate of 3-5 kg/ha is recommended
• Seeds are drilled in 45 cm rows at 1-2 cm depth
• Stem cuttings or root slips are planted at 50 cm x 30 cm spacing on an irrigated soil after rains

Time of planting

• Manures and fertilizers both important for guinea grass
• About 20 t/ha FYM applied before one month of planting
• Besides, 50-50 kg/ha N-P2O5 applied at the time of planting
• After each harvest, 50 kg N/ha

Manures and Fertilizers

• FYM application @ 30 t/ha at the time of land preparation is recommended
• A fertilizer dose of 50-60-50 kg/ha of N-P2O5-K2O is applied as basal
• After each harvest, 50 kg N/ha is applied with irrigation

Water management

• Guinea grass needs frequent irrigations
• The crop also grows well with sewage irrigation
• Some varieties are mostly grown in areas with annual rainfall above 1,000 mm, while Some varieties are planted in areas with 800 mm or less
• Drought tolerance varies among cultivars, although generally they do not tolerate dry periods longer than 4 or 5 months

Weed management
• Weeds such as Nicandra, Argemone , Ageratum conyzoides, and Eleusine indica
• Weed competition at the time of establishment
• Weed management up to 45 days after sowing in crucial
• Two inter cultural operations sufficient for weed control
• Atrazine can be used for weed control in P. maximum at 4 L/ha.
• Broadleaf weeds can be controlled using a pre-emergent spray (no wetting agent required) of 2,4-D sodium salt at 4.5 kg/ha product using a minimum of 340 L/ha of water. Young plants are susceptible to diuron at 2.5 kg/ha

• First cut at 75 DAP and subsequent cuts at 45 days interval
• The crop should be harvested at 1-15 cm above ground level
• It can also be grazed by animals
• In perennial types, cuttings taken up to 4-5 years

• The annual green fodder yield 50-60 t/ha in 4-6 cuts (rainfed) to 80-120 t/ha in 7-9 cuts (irrigated)
• Under sewage irrigation up to 200 t/ha yields in 10-12 cuts
• The fodder contains 9-13% CP and 30-35% CF with 50% digestibility

About Author / Additional Info:
Ph.D research Scholar