Animal feed resources information system

Brachiaria (Brachiaria lata)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


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Common names 



Brachiaria lata (Schumach.) C. E. Hubb.; Urochloa lata (Schumach.) C. E. Hubb. (USDA, 2019)

Taxonomic information 

Many Brachiaria species, including Brachiaria lata have been placed by some authors in the Urochloa genus, so the taxon Urochloa lata is often considered as the correct. However, these changes remain disputed and some recent papers still refer to Brachiaria lata (Torres González et al., 2005).

Related feed(s) 

Brachiaria  (Brachiaria lata) is an annual fast growing grass distributed across the Sahel. It is reported to be excellent fodder for all stock but is also a weed in cultivated crops. The seeds are used as food in some places.


Brachiaria  (Brachiaria lata) is a annual, tufted, erect or geniculately ascending grass that grows to a height of 30-150 cm. It can root from its lower nodes. Brachiaria lata culms are coarse with pubescent nodes. Brachiaria leaf-blade is coarse, broadly rounded, or cordate at the base, lanceolate in shape,  6–12 cm in length and 8–24 mm in width. The inflorescence is composed of 5-30 racemes, unilaterally and closely spaced along the 1-12 cm central axis. The racemes are simple or secondary branched, 2-8 cm long. The seeds are dressed in glumes (Clayton et al., 2006; Burkill, 1985).


Brachiaria (Brachiaria lata) is palatable to cattle and sheep and is mainly used as fodder, it is cut and sold as hay on West African markets (Burkill, 1985; Asiedu et al., 1978). In Burkina Faso, Brachiaria (Brachiara lata) is one of the five main species (with Andropogon gayanus, Panicum anabaptistum, Pennisetum pedicellatum, and Andropogon pseudapricus) of grasslands known for their palatability (Kaboré-Zoungrana et al., 1999). In Senegal, it has been introduced to produce fodder for small ruminants (Bayala et al., 2014). Its seeds are used for human consumption in Nigeria (Burkill, 1985).


Brachiaria (Brachiaria lata) can be found in the Sahelian area from Mauritania to N and S Nigeria, and into Ethiopia and Arabia. It is also reported to be found in India. It is a weed of cultivated land in crops of sorghum, rice, groundnut for example. Brachiaria lata is also found on disturbed soil. It can grow under trees in plantations (mango) (Asiedu et al., 1978). In the wild, it is specifically growing under Acacia raddiana (Grouzis et al., 2006). In Burkina Faso, Brachiaria (Brachiara lata) is one of the five main species of grasslands that can be found on lowland, highland and hilly pastures (Kaboré-Zoungrana et al., 1999).

Forage management 

In North-East Nigeria it is one of the earliest grass in the season (Burkill, 1985).

Environmental impact 

Soil fertility indicator

Brachiaria (Brachiaria lata) is referred to as an indicator of soil fertility by farmers in Niger (Hayashi et al., 2013).

Nutritional aspects

In Western Tigray (Ethiopia), brachiaria (Brachiaria lata) is reported to be one of the most palatable grasses of rangeland (Gebrekiros et al., 2018). Brachiaria is also much valued in Sudan as a palatable cattle-feed (Burkill, 1985). Brachiaria provides excellent fodder for all stock, and is cut and bundled for sale in West African markets, or is cut for storage as hay (Burkill, 1985).



Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 
Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/24960 Last updated on April 17, 2019, 17:44