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Cool Season Grass For Horse Pasture & Hay
Growing the correct, best and safest cool season grass and other forage crops for your horse pasture can be one of the most important things you can do for their health and well-being. Both annuals and perennials can provide more forage for your horses in the
cool season areas.
Cool season grasses are generally higher in quality than warm-season grasses. The digestibility of cool season grass averages 9% higher than your warm season grasses. The minimum crude protein levels are higher in cool season grasses than warm season grasses.
Annual grasses in both warm and cool season grasses are often found to be higher in quality than perennials. Plants grown at high temperatures generally produce lower quality forage than plants grown under cool temperatures. Find below a list of cool season grass links for more information.
Tall Fescue Endophyte Free Or Friendly Horse Pasture Grass
Tall fescue is one of the most adaptable grasses grown for grazing purposes. The types of soil that is can be has good disease and insect resistance, is thick enough to overcome weed competition, provides year round pasturage in the northern regions and fall to spring in the warmer areas of adaptation. These reasons make fescue a cost effective and hardy grass for all types of pastures and hay fields. Fescue can be planted in single stands or with other grasses like orchard grass or perennial rye and clovers or alfalfa to add extra nutrients and minerals.
Many older types of tall fescue, such as Kentucky 31, are already established in fields or pastures and have many problems that have arose overtime. These problems are due
to the naturally occurring infection of the fescue with a fungus called toxic endophyte. Through research and development there are now safe for animal grazing varieties of tall fescue pasture grass that are endophyte free,
Kentucky 32 & Bronson, or endophyte friendly, MaxQ. These should be considered when planting new pastures or renovating older ones. Read this pdf document from the
University of Tennessee on how to re-establish tall fescue pastures using endophyte free or
endophyte friendly tall fescue grass.
Read More about Endophyte Free & Endophyte Friendly Tall Fescue and watch this video on Tall
Fescue pastures from Pennington Seed
Rye Grass Horse Pastures
Perennial & Annual Ryegrass are used extensively for permanent and short term pasturage all over the world. Grown in single
stands or mixed with other forage crops either grass has exceptional qualities much desired by the forage industry for horse or livestock pastures and for hay production.
Perennial Ryegrass is a cool season grass that will grow as a perennial in the cooler parts of the USA. It will grow as an annual in the warmer areas of the USA. Highly
palatable and nutritious, Perennial Ryegrass grass is also used in mixes where it is the dominate or the lesser of the ingredients of the mix. Ryegrass is a multi-purpose grass used to
seed with clovers or other legumes, bromes, wheat grasses, orchard grass, timothy, hybrid ryegrass, tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. Each mix is selected for specific reasons and
according to the areas of adaptation. Perennial ryegrass is also a multi-used grass in overseeding summer forages and less winter hardy coverage.
Annual ryegrass is one of the most versatile forage grasses grown. Planted on its own or in almost any mixture imaginable, this
grass is used for pasturage in one form or another all over the world. Fast germinating, quick growing, highly palatable to all types of horses and livestock plus providing winter pasturage makes
this grass almost a necessity on many farms and ranches. A great companion grass for oats, winter rye, clovers, any grassing seed, farm crop, vegetable fields, berry producers, orchards -
any place adapted for annual ryegrass can benefit in some manner in planting ryegrass. This is also a ready source of silage, green manure, and hay.
Due to the potential for ryegrass in pastures to have the possibility of producing higher than desirable Endophyte production of toxins, you should
only plant ryegrasses that have a known history of safe use for forages such as Passerel Rye Grass,
Gulf Annual Rye Grass or Festulolium Pasture Rye Grass Cross
(hybrid). Some of
the newer improved perennial ryegrass varieties for lawns often contain Endophytes and are NOT suitable or recommended for pasture use. Plant only
forage type varieties.
Read more about using ryegrass in pastures here at:
Ryegrasses.com - http://www.ryegrasses.com/pasture/index.html.
For Horse Pasture
produces an excellent pasture grass, especially for horses and cattle, and can be used in wildlife food plots for deer, turkey and quail. Orchard grass also makes an excellent hay
production crop and is complimented when planted with legumes such as Ladino (white) clover or red clovers. It can be grown in shadier areas where some other pasture grasses will not grow.
Orchardgrass can withstand trampling and heavy grazing, has a high nutrient content, is a great green manure crop and is used as green chop (fed directly to livestock wet).
When properly maintained and established, planted with clovers or alfalfa, Orchard grass will survive as a pasture grass for several years. It is a perennial that will need only fertilizer
added occasionally to improve growth.
View prices or buy Orchard Grass Seed
online now at Seedland.com.
Timothy Grass For Horse Pastures & Hay
Timothy grass seed produces a vigorous, early maturing cool season bunchgrass. It is a short lived perennial with stems larger than most grass plants providing a coarse hay-type look.
Very leafy compared to grasses and usually matures earlier than other grasses but about the same as clovers and alfalfa. Timothy has a shallow root system that does NOT allow it to handle
drought and heat stress very well. Adapted best for use in cold (cool), humid climates of North Eastern and North Central US states. Not suitable for use warmer in Southern States. Used
for pasture in rotational grazing, hay, conservation - erosion control and silage. Timothy grass is an excellent grass to produce a grass/alfalfa hay.
Bromegrass For Horse Pastures & Hay
Lakota Bromegrass is a native, northern adapted prairie grass that performs well when planted with a legume such as alfalfa. This combination limits the problems of bloat and short grazing
seasons that come with alfalfa, and causes better animal performance than a pasture of pure smooth brome grass.
Bromegrass is an excellent grass to add to alfalfa to produce a grass hay combination. In fact it has been noted that a good hay for horses would be a brome/timothy/alfalfa combination.
Kentucky Bluegrass For Horse Pastures
Bluegrass is a long-living perennial grass which originated from Europe and Asia. In Europe bluegrass is called smooth meadow grass. This grass has successfully spread
across the mid-west to eastern half of the United States and into Canada and is well known as a pasture grass for horses, cattle, and sheep throughout the areas of adaptation. Millions of acres are now occupied
whether by purpose or by nature's own seeding and are still being planted today. Bluegrass seeds are easy to harvest and it has developed into one of the species with the largest number of
varieties of any grass seed.
Pastures of bluegrass are readily grazed by almost all livestock, including horses, due to the high palatability level. Blue grass
pastures are favored by ranchers and
farmers alike particularly because of the sod density and rapid rate of re-growth following close grazing. This is one of the few foraging grasses that are stimulated by the removal of the
plant material into better production. The dense formed sod prevents the hoofs of herd animals from damaging the pasture and helps prevent erosion under heavy herd conditions.
Establishment of Blue Grass pastures (or any pasture) with companion legume crops can supply extra nitrogen levels and are quite successful. White clover is one of the best companion legumes grown that add extra
vitamins and minerals to your horse's diet along with diversifying forage material. Bluegrass pastures are lifetime plantings but need reseeding occasionally along with the legumes. This would be a great time
to improve the variety that is already established instead of renovating the whole pasture.
--- Read more on Bluegrass pastures at the link below.
Kentucky Bluegrasses: www.bluegrasses.com/pasture/index.html.
Complimentary Forage Crops For Horse Pasture Grass
These nutritious and soil fixing legumes are an excellent compliment to any cool-season horse pasture.
Alfalfa - www.alfalfaseeds.com
Clovers - www.cloverseed.com
Millets - www.milletseed.com
There are numerous other annual forages that are available for planting - Check them out at FarmSeeds.com
or online at Seedland's Farm
Plant Forage Ryegrasses in the Fall!
www.farmseeds.com - Your
a beautiful tomorrow!®