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New Forage Bermudagrass Variety

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Posted Mar. 1, 1999

The name of the new bermudagrass, previously referred to as 74x21-6, will be Midland 99. Oklahoma State University, the developer of the variety, is cooperating with the Noble Research Institute, the USDA, and experiment stations in Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas in jointly releasing this new pasture grass variety.

Midland 99 has been tested at many locations in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The variety has proven to be a survivor in heavy grazing and winter stress tests and, in addition, is a prolific forage producer. It has consistently outyielded the varieties Midland and Greenfield, and has shown to be equal or greater than Tifton 44, which is currently the most commercially important variety grown in Oklahoma.

Midland 99 has to be established by sprigging. According to information from Oklahoma Foundation Seed Stocks (OFSS), only Foundation sprigs will be available this year. Sprig digging dates are scheduled in mid-April, mid-May, and the first week in June. The sprig site is located on the Noble Research Institute's Red River Demonstration and Research Farm near Burneyville, Oklahoma. Sprigs will cost $10 per bushel.

The normal sprigging rate is 30 bushels of sprigs per acre. A long, wide pickup bed is considered to hold about 50 bushels. Persons not interested in the sale of Certified sprigs could plant a small nursery field, then dig sprigs from this field to expand their acreage.

Producers who have intentions of selling Certified sprigs have to meet specifications set forth by the Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association. The regulations require a pre-plant land inspection before the area to be sprigged is worked and a crop inspection prior to digging the sprigs. Other important requirements are: (1) the nursery field must have been free of bermudagrass for two consecutive years prior to sprigging, and (2) Certified sprig fields must be bermudagrass free for one year.

Producers interested in purchasing Midland 99 sprigs should contact OFSS at 405-624-7041. They will provide the necessary forms and a copy of the Oklahoma Seed Certification Standards and Rules booklet for those interested in selling Certified sprigs.

For futher information, please contact Jerry Baker or Andy Hopkins at The Noble Research Institute, 580-223-5810.