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Choosing Grass & Forage Species For Pasture Dean Oswald Animal Systems Educator Macomb Extension Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Choosing Grass & Forage Species For Pasture Dean Oswald Animal Systems Educator Macomb Extension Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Choosing Grass & Forage Species For Pasture Dean Oswald Animal Systems Educator Macomb Extension Center

2 Different Forage Attributes: Bluegrass is Persistent & High Quality…. But Low Yielding Endophyte Infected Tall Fescue is very Productive & Persistent…..But Limited Quality Orchardgrass-Alfalfa is Very Productive & High Quality….But Not as Persistent depending upon management


4 Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) Perennial Sod Forming Cool Season Grass Grows 12-23 Inches Tall Summer Dormancy Not Suited to Hay Should Not Be Grazed Lower Than 3 Inches


6 SMOOTH BROMEGRASS (Bromus inermis) Most Widely Adapted and High yielding Variety in Northern & Central Illinois Sod Forming Grass - Reproduces by Seed & Rhizomes Hay Should be Cut Based Upon Legume Maturity (Leave a 3-4 Inch Stubble) Graze at 6-8 Inches in Spring (Dont Overgraze)


8 Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata) One of the Most Useful Grasses for Hay & Pasture Bunch Type Grass - Fibrous Root System Starts Early in the Spring, Reproduces from Seed and Tillers (All re-growth vegetative) More Productive in Mid-Summer, Shade Tolerant Cutting Closer than 3 Inches can Damage Stand Graze at 6-8 Inches, No Shorter than 3-4


10 Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) Bunch Type Grass Will Survive Several Growing Seasons Less Persistent Than Other Cool Season Grasses Can Withstand Grazing Mismanagement Harvest at 10-12 Inches, Remove Animals at 2 Inches, Re-graze at 7-10 Inches


12 REED CANARYGRASS (Phalaris arundinacea) Tall, Upright Perennial Cool Season Grass Rhizomatous Root System Low Alkaloid Varieties Available…More Palatable Drought & Flood Tolerant - Adapts to all Soil Conditions Cut Hay at Boot Stage, Maintain a 4 Inch Cutting Height Should Not Be Allowed To Grow More Than 14 Inches Tall In a Pasture System ( 7 Days Grazing, 21 Days Rest Period)


14 Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) Deep Rooted Sod Forming Bunchgrass Most Wear and Tear Resistant Grass Animals Reluctant to Graze Mid-Summer Waxy leaf Cuticle Fescue Endophyte Fungus Low Endophyte Varieties Available Stockpiling For Winter Use

15 Fescue Toxicity on EI Pastures Reduced Feed Intake - Less Grazing Time Lower Weight Gains < Reduced Milk Production > Increased Body Temperature > Respiration Rate Rough Hair Coat Reduced Reproductive Performance


17 ALFALFA (Medicago sativa) Highest Yielding Perennial Forage in IL Deep Rooted, Source of Nitrogen pH 6.5 or Higher Hay or Pasture (With Proper Management) Hay…Cut in Late Bud to Early Bloom (30- 35 Day Rest Period) Bloat Can Be A Concern


19 RED CLOVER (Trifolium pratense) Biennial / Must Re-Seed to Maintain Stand Tolerates Lower pH Than Alfalfa More Difficult to Dry For Hay More Shade Tolerant Than Alfalfa Rotational Grazing (30Day Rest Period) Source of Nitrogen


21 LADINO WHITE CLOVER (Trifolium repens f.) Creeping Stems Short Lived - Shallow Rooted Bloat Potential Not Suited For Hay Do Not Overgraze (Below 3 Inches)


23 BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL (Lotus corniculatus) High Quality, Non-Bloating Legume Tolerates Slightly Acid, Less Well Drained Soils Rotational Grazing to Maintain Stand Graze - When 6-8 Inches, Remove Stock at 3 Inches Hay - Cut at 1/4 Bloom with 3 Inch Cutting Height

24 Crabgrass (Degitaria spp.) Annual, Warm Season Grass Introduced Into the US in 1849 for Stock Feed Forage Use is Primarily in the SE 1/3 US Use Declined When (Weed Problem) Developed In Other Cropping Situations

25 Production Practices Best Production Comes From Dormant Season Tillage (Initial planting and planned volunteer stands) Allelopathic to Other Species and Itself Tillage Moderate Depth Before Germination Crabgrass Responds Well to Nitrogen

26 Establishment Clean, Firm Seedbed - Sow After Last Frost 2-5 # Pure Live Seed in Rowed Plantings Broadcast Stands of 5-10 # Produced Similar Yields Seed - Fertilizer Mix Can be Planted Through Most Drills or Spreaders

27 Crabgrass Use and Quality Beef, Dairy, Sheep, Horses Summer Grazing, Winter Grazing, Hay, Green Chop, Silage, Conservation Cover DDM 75-80% first 1/3 of Season Protein15-25% early Season, > 10% until late fall Yields Range From 2.5 - 6.5 Tons/A


29 Big bluestem Perennial Warm Season Sod Forming Grass Deep Root System / short rhizomes Majority of Growth Occurs in July Graze June 15 to September 15 Initial grazing 10-12 - Dont Graze under 6-8- Stop by Sept. 15 & leave 10stubble Cut for hay in early boot stage Establishment takes two to three years


31 Indiangrass(Sorghastrum nurtans) Perennial Warm Season Bunchgrass Graze July1 to Sept. 15 Initial Grazing Height 10-12 minimum 8 In Grazing Systems: graze 7 days - rest 30 Short grazing will decrease stand Leave 10 inch stubble 30 days before frost 2-3 year establishment


33 Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) Warm Season Bunch Grass (fibrous roots) Higher Palatability & Quality, Lower Yield Grazing Ht. 10-12 Clipping Ht. Not less than 6-8 Stop Grazing Aug. 10 or 45 days < frost Rotational Grazing - 4 Week Rest Period Overgrazing Will Reduce Stand


35 Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Perennial Warm Season Bunchgrass Continuous Grazing Not Recommended Repeated Grazing Less than 4-6 will Kill Terminate Grazing Sept. 15 More Drought Resistant Than Big Blue, Indian or Switch Not as Palatable or Productive - used in mixes 6.0+ pH


37 Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum) Warm Season Perennial Sod Forming Grass Grazing May 15 to September 5 12 Fall Ht. Before Frost (30 day rest) Can Be Grazed to 6-8 After Frost Easiest Warm Season Grass to Establish Begins Growth Early in The Season


39 Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) Native Perennial Warm Season Grass Weak Sod Former used in Mixes <25% Continuous Grazing Not Recommended

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