Grasses & Legumes

Grasses

Grasses – Characteristics Comparative Chart
GrassesIntended
Use(s)
CompetitiveWinter
Survival
Drought
Toleranc
e
Salinity
Tolerance
Flood
Tolerance
Meadow
Bromegrass
Pasture, HayGGGM1-2 weeks
Smooth
Bromegrass
Pasture, HayEGGM2-4 weeks
Crested
Wheatgrass
Pasture, HayEEEMup to 2 weeks
TimothyHayP to MGPP1-2 weeks
Intermediate
Wheatgrass
Pasture, HayMGGMup to 1 week
Creeping Red FescueTurf, pastureGGPMup to 2 weeks
Kentucky
Bluegrass
Grazing, turfMEMPup to 2 weeks
Pubescent
Wheatgrass
Pasture, HayEGGMup to 1 week
Tall WheatgrassPasture, HayPEPEup to 5 weeks
Altai Wild RyegrassPastureMGEEnone
Russian Wild
Ryegrass
PastureEEEGup to 1 week
Creeping
Foxtail
Pasture, HayEGPMup to 4 weeks
Meadow
Foxtail
Pasture, HayEGPP2-4 weeks
OrchardgrassPasture, HayPPMPup to 1 week
Tall FescuePasture, HayGMMG2-4 weeks
Green NeedlegrassPasturePGMPup to 1 week
Northern WheatgrassPasture, HayGEEMup to 2 weeks
Slender WheatgrassHayMGMG2-5 weeks
Western WheatgrassPasture, HayGEEMup to 5 weeks
Reed CanarygrassPasture, HayEGMP5-8 weeks
E = excellent, G = good, M == moderate, P = poor

 

AC® Armada Meadow Bromegrass

AC® Armada is a high yield potential meadow bromegrass variety with a taller plant height and longer leaves than Fleet. Meadow Bromegrass is a long lived perennial grass often used for pasture, hay, and stockpiling. It recovers fast after grazing, produces a TDN of 70% and crude protein level of 15%, is competitive once established, is highly winter hardy, and easily establishes.

Reed Canary Grass

Reed Canary Grass is a tall perennial bunchgrass that is often used for hay, pasture, stockpiling, and reclamation. It regrows quickly after use, highly competitive, forms strong sod, good winter hardiness, and excellent erosion control.

Tall Fescue Grass

Tall Fescue Grass is long lived, deep rooted perennial bunchgrass commonly used for pasture, hay, or ersosion control. It provides an average TDN 59% and crude protein level of 9-12% mid-summer, has very good salinity tolerance, good erosion control, moderate winter hardiness,  good draught tolerance, and good competitivenes.

Creep Red Fescue

 Creeping Red Fescue is a long lived creeping rooted perennial grass that is commonly used for turf grass, pasture, relcamamtion, or stockpiling. It is competitive in moist areas, provides excellent erosion control, and has good winter hardiness with enough snow cover.

Slender Wheatgrass

Slender Wheatgrass is a short lived perennial bunchgrass that is commonly used for hay, pasture, and reclamation mixtures. It has a good winter hardiness, easily establishes, effective erosion control, good salinity tolerance, and provides an average digestibility of 55% and crude protein level of 9.5-11%.

Tall Wheatgrass

Tall Wheatgrass is a long lived, tall perennial bunchgrass often used for saline area reclamation, hay, or pasture. It is extremely winter hardy, the most saline tolerant tame grass species, produces an average TDN of 47% and crude protein of 10.6%, and tolerates up to 5 weeks of spring flooding.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is a long lived perennial grass commonly used for early season grazing, turf grass, and reclamation. It has rapid regrowth in good moisture, TDN of 67% and crude protein of 12% while in vegetative state, and excellent winter hardiness.

Smooth Bromegrass

Smooth Brome Grass is a long lived tall creeping root perennial grass often used for hay or pasture land. It provides an average digestibility of 67% and crude protein level of 11-14% at flowering, is very competitive, excellent at erosion control, good winter hardiness, and good drought tolerance.

Timothy Grass

Timothy is a short lived, perennial bunchgrass with short roots that is commonly used for hay land. It produces an average TDN of 61% and crude protein level of 11%, is fairly competitive once established, and is winter hardy with proper snow cover.

Legumes

Legumes – Characteristics Comparative Chart
LegumesHeat
/Drought
WetWinter InjuryFrequent
cutting/ grazing
Soil SalinitySoil
Acidity
Seedling
Vigor
Ruminant
AlfalfaEPGFFFGYes
Alsike CloverPEPPFGGYes
Birdsfoot trefoilFEFGFGPNo
Cicer milkvetchGFEFFFPNo
Red CloverFFFFFGEYes
Sweet CloverEPEPGPGYes

E=excellent, G = good, F=fair, P=poor

 

Creeping & Tap Root Alfalfa

Alfalfa is perennial legume with a creeping or tap root system that is commonly used for hay, pasture, or stockpiling. The creeping root tends to live longer, yield more, and survive the winter better than the tap root but both produce an average TDN of 71% and crude protein of 21%, are competitive, have excellent drought tolerance, and readily establish.

Cicer Milkvetch

Cicer Milkvetch is a perennial legume often used for pasture land. It produces a TDN of 61.5% and crude protein levels of 14.6%, provides effective soil stablization, has good winter hardiness, and is competitive when established.

Sweet Clover

Sweet Clover is a white or yellow flowered perennial legume that is often used for pasture, hay, soil improvement, or silage. It provides a TDN of 58% and a crude protein level of 16% in its early bloom stage, has very good winter hardiness, good drought tolerance, can provide erosion control, and moderate salinity tolerance. 

Alsike Clover

 Alsike Clover is a perennial legume that is often grown as biennial in Saskatchewan for hay, reclamation, or pasture. It produces a TDN of 65% and a crude protein level of 22%, has good winter hardiness, readily establishes, will survive at least 5 weeks of flooding, and is competitive.

Red Clover

Red Clover is a short lived perennial legume commonly used for hay, stockpiling, or green manure. It regrows well after haying, provides a TDN of 65% and a crude protein level of 19%, is moderately competitive once established, and is moderately easy to establish.

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Birdsfoot Trefoil is a short lived perennial legume commonly used for hay and pasture land. It produces a crude protein content level of 9% at full bloom, performs excellent in wet or low fertility soils, is moderately competitive, and requires 4 to 6 weeks of rest between grazing.

Sainfoin

Sainfoin is a perennial legume that is often used for pasture, hay, or stockpiling. It provides a TDN of 63% and a crude protein level of 18% during early bloom, is moderately drough tolerant, can provide erosion control, and does not cause bloat in livestock.

Grasses & Legumes FAQ

Is grass a legume?

No, grass is not a legume.

What is the best grass to plant for hay?

This depends on a number of factors:

  1. Soil texture: sandy, sandy loam, loam, clay loam, clay
  2. Purpose of Hay Use: blending with poor hay, high protein requirements
  3. Field Moisture: Flooding length, saturation length
  4. Salinity level: low, median, high
  5. Acidity Level: Low, medium, high

When should I plant pasture grass seed?

The best time frames to plant pasture seed in Saskatchewan is early spring May 1 to June 1 or fall seeding from August 10- Sept 10, depending on moisture conditions.

How long does it take for pasture seeds to germinate?

Grass and legume seeds take approximately 14 to 21 days to germinate BUT may not notice seedlings to emerge until 30 days after seeding.

At what temperature will grass seed germinate?

Grass seed requires a soil temperature of +10 °C to germinate.

Can you put down too much grass seed?

Yes, if you seed at too high of a rate your field could become root bound at a faster rate. When hayland or pastures become root bound production decreases.

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