Molasses Grass

Melinis minutiflora



Perennial grass with rhizomatous and creeping strain, grassy, of medium size, (50-80 cm). Stems are erect, cylindrical, smooth, solid, pretty hard, fragile, and often reddish. Leaf sheath is split, very hairy and glandular. Ligule consists of a line of short hair. Limbs of the leaves are short (10-15 cm), broad (10 mm), acuminate, very hairy, glandular on both sides, with ciliated edges. Inflorescence is in shape of pyramidal panicle.
The grain is exposed. TKW = 0,1-0,15 g.

Molasses Grass originates from tropical Africa (Congo, Mozambique, etc.), but was introduced a long time ago in Brazil (at the time of Great Discoveries in XV-XVIth).


Chemical Composition
Benefits :
  • Suitable for mowing, as green forage, hay and silage
  • Repels Anopheles and tsetse fly
  • Good nutrient value
  • Good palatability for animals once they get used to its smell ( fast adaptation)
  • Unpleasant odour (even foetid)
  • Sensitive to trampling (not advised for use in pasture)

Molasses grass likes heat and tolerates the lack of water temporarily, supports badly cool temperatures, and does not well survive frost.

It grows well on not too dry and relatively fertile soils, enrich and sub-humid, but very badly tolerates swamps.

Seedlings Period Spacing Depth Amount sown Note
In rows  End of winter – beginning of spring – cm 1 cm 4-6 kg/ha  It is necessary to compress soil on the rows

Transplanting is made at the beginning of the spring, in bunches. Seedlings should be watered several times, as needed.
Mowing is done when plants reach 50-60 cm. Does not tolerate short cuts, Melinis must be cut to a height of 10-15 cm. Up to three cuts per year can be obtained.
It produces grains usually during late November-early December. Under favourable conditions, especially on irrigated land, it grows very well, even killing weeds.

In q/ha In green In hay In grain
Yield 120-240 30-60 1-3

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