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Camello grass is the product of genetic studies carried out by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, its Spanish acronym), headquartered in Cali, Colombia. This grass was evaluated over a 12-year period by Semillas Papalotla’s Tropical Pastures Research Center (CIPAT, its Spanish acronym) in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, showing excellent results in terms of water stress tolerance and desirable decumbent growth habit— two characteristics that make it a viable option for sites characterized by scarce, erratic precipitation.
With bright green stems and leaves, Camello grass is the only non-pubescent hybrid to date. Its thin-to-medium thick stems present short internodes and its nodes have high rooting capacity.
This grass requires well drained soils of medium fertility and can be planted in different ways:
– Using a sorghum planter, calibrated to sow 15–18 seeds/linear meter, with a second pass of the planter between the first rows planted for a a planting distance of 40 cm between furrows. Planting rate: 8 kg seed/ha.
– Broadcasted manually or using a zip line, at 10 kg seed/ha (40 seeds per square meter).
Seed must be treated with insecticides to avoid being carried away by ants or birds. Insecticides containing the following active ingredients are recommended: bifenthrin + imidacloprid, thiodicarb, and thiamethoxan. These should be applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Fallow land can be prepared as usual or with 2 passes of a conventional harrow. Camello grass seeds require a maximum planting depth of 2 cm. In the case of cultivated soils, seed could be planted too deep. To avoid this situation, preplanting soil preparation is recommended, either using a roller or by passing tires or a heavy log, or submitting the area to heavy irrigation to stabilize the land and prepare a seedbed for better planting results.
In the presence of broadleaf weeds, control practices should be performed 30-45 days after planting, applying small doses of herbicide, for example picloram + 2,4-D.
Soils in tropical Latin America are generally poor in N-P-K. Therefore the use of fertilizers containing these elements helps improve pasture establishment, plant growth, and pasture management, thus obtaining high-quality forage. Soil analyses should be conducted to precisely determine soil components and determine the correct fertilizer rate for pastures planted to this grass.
Camello grass pastures can be first submitted to grazing at 120 days after germination. Once the pasture is fully established and, if production conditions are favorable, grazing can be conducted at 25-to-30-day intervals.