A third-generation variant of Rhodes Grass was showcased at AgQuip this year. It is a variety that has been selected for its higher leaf-to-stem ratio, increased salt tolerance, aggressive stoloniferous growth and higher dry matter production.
Selected Seeds' representative, Terry Beeson, said Reclaimer Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) was a species produced to develop Increased stolon numbers and tolerance to saline conditions.
He said the Reclaimer Rhodes grass is a new release from Selected Seeds' salt tolerant program and has shown increases of up to 20 per cent of dry matter (DM) production in trials compared to the variety known as Katambora Rhodes grass.
"Reclaimer is a descendent of Katambora, probably a great, great-grandson of it," Mr Besson said.
"Phil Smith (owner of Selected Seeds) and his agronomists over the years have reduced the stem width and hardness, increase the leaf-to-stem ratio, and select traits of being very stoloniferous.
"Like Kykuyu, it will spread out on the ground. He has achieved a very soft, beautiful hay Rhodes grass reactionary to management like rotational grazing.
"If you can rest it, graze it, rest and graze again, you will get regrowth in 30 to 40 days if you get rainfall with everything being equal."
Mr Besson said farmers in Queensland's Fassifern Valley were switching from lucerne to Rhodes grass as a hay alternative.
"They are finding with this Rhodes grass they are getting a cut every 40 days and are obtaining two tonnes per hectare per cut.
"Commercially, it's standing up, and the beautiful thing they like about it is you don't have to bale it at night. It doesn't shatter like lucerne in hot, dry conditions."
Mr Besson said Reclaimer is a high nitrogen user, and soil tests are paramount to ensure the good health of the heavy hay producer.
"It's also very compatible with companion species like lucerne or any legumes.
"Reclaimer has an active root system and is an ideal choice for those graziers looking for a deep-rooted plant that can also provide carbon sequestration."
He said it is recommended to graze Reclaimer after eight to 10 months when plants mature or reproduce.