Cool Season Perennial Grasses
Brome grasses or the Genus Bromusis a large family that comprises over 60 different species. It is a cool season grass that is found in Europe, Africa, Australia and North America. It is primarily used as forage and in some areas as erosion control. Some brome grasses can be used alone or in mixes with other grasses and legumes. At Southeast AgriSeeds we carry four different types of brome and they are all quite different from each other in their use and areas of adaptation. Brome grasses have larger seed size than other grasses so attention to drill calibration is important.
A new release Barenbrug variety selected for drought tolerance. Arsenal’s selection focused on plant vigor, seedling emergence from a deep planting depth, forage and seed yield, and seed mass under dryland environments. Recommended seeding rate: 35-45 lb/A.
Artillery is a drought-tolerant, productive smooth bromegrass. It is rhizomatous and early-maturing, and was developed from selections from arid regions of Turkey, Iran, Spain and Mongolia. The developed population was then selected in Oklahoma high stress conditions that included no irrigation with low nitrogen input. Recommended seeding rate: 30-40 lb/A.
Smooth bromes are great for shale hillsides that are hayed. Smooth bromes are slow starters, but spread by rhizomes (underground stems). Once a stand is started and it is not abused by cutting prior to heading, they should last a long time. Forage quality is very good, but not as high as our other bromes. Makes great horse hay. Recommended seeding rate: 30-40 lbs/A.
Good drought tolerance! For hay or grazing. Tall, non-creeping with broad leaves. Hakari requires special management. Give it a 3 to 4 week rest period and leave a 3 to 4 inch residual stubble when mowing or it will thin out severely. Cows love it and milk well on it. It works great mixed with alfalfa for hay. It’s easy to mow and late heading. However, it will head a little in second cutting, but quality does not drop as much as with other grasses. It is very fast to establish but long term persistence is weak. Also likes well drained soil. Recommended seeding rate: 35-45 lbs/A.
An early heading pasture and hay type brome that is fast starting with a slower establishment. But once established it is drought tolerant and persistent and has excellent quality. It does best as a component of mixes with other grasses and legumes. It is also very winter hardy and will persist well in northern climates.
Meadow brome is productive from spring to fall. We are very impressed with summer and fall yields and quality. Meadow brome performs best when it is used in mixes. It heads out early and is not a good match with alfalfa. Excellent Penn State trial data over 3 years of harvest. Montana yielded with the better tall fescue varieties and better than most other grass species.
Recommended seeding rate: 25-35 lbs/A.
“I had Fojtan Festulolium in small North Carolina grass plots (3′ x 10′) that were seeded in February of 2011. We are now going into our third year, and grazing instead of mowing. As of this fall (2012), the Fojtan was doing quite well, rivaling all of the fescue plots there for stand thickness, including Drover, Cajun, Kora, Baroptima and STF 43 and others. The Fojtan had a narrower, slightly darker green leaf than the fescues, and had a softer texture than most of them.”
-Tracy Neff, King’s AgriSeeds Agronomist
Festuloliums are crosses between ryegrass and fescue. The fescue can either be a meadow fescue or a tall fescue. The differences between varieties can be very dramatic. They range from short lived to perennial.They also range in their agronomic traits from ryegrass-like to tall fescue-like. Another caution with festulolium varieties is aftermath heading (summer headiness). Many varieties exhibit a long summer heading period. Our varieties are new releases with a breeding emphasis on high sugars and reduced summer heading. They look and taste like ryegrass but take the summer heat and harsh winters better (from a breeding program in Czech Republic). Like ryegrass, they are best for silage and grazing.
Seed at 30 to 40 lbs/acre for a pure stand.
Perseus is high-yielding, matching the production of Italian ryegrass for 2-3 harvest years. It is persistent, has a strong root system, improved winter hardiness, increased summer performance, and high drought tolerance. Its later maturity contributes to its high forage quality, and its palatability makes it a good complement or replacement for ryegrass or meadow fescue. Perseus is fast-starting and can be mixed with legumes or used as a pure stand, and has good regrowth.
Perun is a tetraploid variety of festulolium, Italian ryegrass type but with better persistence. The yield is high with relatively high sugar contents. Perun is utilized for silage as pure crop or in mixture with other grasses like perennial ryegrass, tall fescue types of festulolium and red clover. In such mixtures, Perun participates with high dry matter yield – especially in the 1st and 2nd harvest year – with very good quality. Very strong spring and fall growth. Recommended seeding rate: 30-40 lbs/A.
Kentucky bluegrass is a shorter height sod forming grass that makes a nice smooth looking pasture. Bluegrass spreads by rhizomes and can survive very short grazing. The majority of its forage production is in the spring and fall with its yields usually being relatively low compared to most other pasture species. Its persistence is excellent, but establishment is slow. Bluegrass seed is very fine and a little seed goes a long way.
Meadow fescue, a very winter hardy species, is related to perennial ryegrass. It looks more like ryegrass than tall fescue. Meadow fescue is very palatable but lower yielding than tall fescue. It does very well in cool, moist conditions, but once established it takes heat well. We only recommend meadow fescue to be planted as part of a mixture. We think it will fit organic farms well in that it does not have as high a nitrogen requirement, but is still of high quality. We are currently evaluating two varieties at several sites. Less summer headiness than perennial ryegrass.
Seed at 35 to 45 lbs/acre for a pure stand. Seeding with alfalfa: 3-8 lb/A.
Barenbrug’s blend of high disease resistant meadow fescue. HDR is denser and taller than other meadow fescues tested. The quality and palatability of HDR approaches that of ryegrass.
Orchardgrass is an old reliable standby in many parts of the U.S. It is more heat and drought tolerant than most cool season grasses, and thus produces more feed during the summer. Some of the older varieties, such as Potomac and Pennlate, have given orchardgrass a bad reputation for getting diseased in late summer, being clumpy, heading out too early in spring, and not being palatable. Our varieties are far more palatable than most of the older varieties, and also later heading!
When harvesting orchardgrass (grazing or mowing), be sure to leave at least a 3 or 4 inch stubble or it will not persist for more than a few years. Orchardgrass cannot be grazed as hard and often as Ryegrass.
Our orchardgrass varieties are not the old clumpy type. Orchardgrass will do well in areas with less than ideal fertility and moisture, but is not adapted for very wet areas. Orchardgrass is easy to dry and fairly drought tolerant, but does not like wet soils. When cutting leave 3 to 4” of stubble height, to increase productivity and stand life.
Seed at 20 lb/A for pure stands to as little as 3 lb/A with high legume mixtures.
Stands for High Leaf Ratio. Contains the best and latest orchardgrass varieties from Barenbrug’s breeding program. The varieties have been selected for high leaf to stem ratio. This means more leaves for improved digestibility and energy, and less stems that reduce the feed quality and palatability of the forage. Barenbrug breeders are continuously selecting for disease tolerance and HLR Orchardgrass is resistant to rust and other leaf diseases. The intermediate to late heading varieties in HLR are ideal for planting with alfalfa.
Inavale is a true medium-maturing leafy orchardgrass with strong disease resistance. Its summer heat tolerance makes it a great choice for grazing or hay. This orchardgrass was screened heavily in northern Kentucky and also looked strong in our Lancaster plots. It is a little too early to add with alfalfa, but a few days later than the old Pennlate.
A new early orchardgrass by DLF that is very high yielding, has high disease tolerance, and handles heat and stress well. Ideal for producers in intense, hotter climates that are looking for a high energy option that jumps out early in the spring and yields big.
An earlier southern orchardgrass bred by University of Tennessee for persistence under both hot humid conditions and under abusive grazing management. Persist does what its name implies, but it is also a very high yielding variety. Its maturity is similar to Pennlate and is not recommended for seeding with alfalfa. Its quality is similar to other US bred orchardgrasses, but not as high as our other varieties.
Ryegrass is well known as the highest quality grass. This holds true when it comes to digestibility and sugars, which means higher energy. Cows milk more, stay in better body condition, and may even breed better on a ryegrass diet (versus an orchardgrass or alfalfa diet), whether it’s in a grazing or a high moisture hay system. However, ryegrass is harder to dry and it does not perform well in hot or dry weather.
Seed at 30 to 50 lbs/acre for a pure stand.
Diploid Perennial Ryegrass
A blend of late maturing European varieties of diploid ryegrasses. This blend produces a very dense sward; the yield is higher than it looks. It has excellent winter hardiness and is a key component in King’s Grazing mix. Barsprinter and Barnhem are the current varieties in this excellent diploid blend. Barnhem is a high sugar variety that looks very good in our test plots. Barsprinter is a new VERY winter hardy variety with excellent disease resistance and density. Recommended seeding rate: 30-40 lbs/A.
Diploid / Tetraploid Blend
A KingFisher blend of European tetraploid and diploid. An excellent choice for overseeding pastures as part of a regular maintenance program. Perennial ryegrass, if seeded by itself, should be planted in cooler climates on moist, fertile soils. Recommended seeding rate: 35-45 lbs/A. Certified Organic.
A new high yielding tetraploid variety that has balanced productivity. Kentaur has excellent winter and summer hardiness, making it a very durable tetraploid variety. Kentaur has some summer headiness. Recommended seeding rate: 40-50 lbs/A.
Premium is an intermediate heading diploid with superior winter and summer hardiness. Does well under lower nitrogen fertility. Recommended seeding rate: 40-50 lbs/A.
A late heading winter hardy European tetraploid with high sugars. This variety has been in our test plots and looks super. Tivoli was the highest yielding perennial ryegrass in the 2001 Cornell hay trial yielding 5.67 T/A. It has early production even though it is late heading. We have been impressed with its density and how it takes the summer heat. Tivoli will work great to mix in with alfalfa in deeper soils. Tivoli is included in many of our pasture mixes. Recommended seeding rate: 40-50 lbs/A.
Remington was selected in the U.S. for its sward density, high yields and excellent disease resistance. It has improved winter tolerance compared to traditional cultivars, and also exhibits improved tolerance to heat and produces longer into the summer than the competition.
Remington NEA2 is a new combination of Barenbrug’s proven variety, Remington, with a beneficial endophyte, NEA2 (Novel Endophyte Associated). Remington is a high-yielding, high-quality tetraploid ryegrass that shares many attributes of a diploid type. Remington was selected in the U.S. for its sward density, high yields and excellent disease resistance. It has improved winter tolerance compared to traditional cultivars, and also exhibits improved tolerance to heat and produces longer into the summer than the competition. Recommended seeding rate: 40-50 lbs/A.
Reed canarygrass is slow to establish. Once established it is very productive in a wide range of conditions, including very wet soils to very droughty soils and low pH’s. It is suitable for silage, hay and grazing, but requires high management to get high quality. It goes from high quality to low quality faster than most other species. We carry low alkaloid varieties.
Tall fescue is a very adaptable grass that can grow in wet or dry conditions as well as low or high fertility. It will tolerate more abuse (hoof and wheel traffic) than other grasses, thus it’s good for sacrifice lots, waterways, and outdoor wintering and winter stockpiling. Older varieties have given tall fescue a bad name. Many of the older varieties have very low palatability and some are infected with a toxic endophyte.
Tall fescue deserves more recognition as a hay/haylage crop; especially by large operations. It can utilize a lot of manure and tolerates heavy manure-truck traffic very well. A good tall fescue variety will out-yield orchardgrass by about a ton/acre/year over a five year period (i.e. New York study). In a feeding trial conducted by Dr. Cherney at Cornell, tall fescue haylage produced more milk per cow than orchardgrass or alfalfa haylage. 3 to 4 inch grazing height increases the longevity of tall fescue.
Seed at 35 to 40 lbs/acre for a pure stand.
This tall fescue has been in our grazing plots several years and we are impressed with its palatability and summer performance. BarOptima is the grass variety and E34 is a beneficial endophyte that improves the agronomics of the grass, but does not trigger the negative health effects of the harmful endophyte that is typically found in Kentucky 31 and many other older tall fescues. This product is ideal for long term grazing and hay swards south of Pennsylvania.
A high yielding, early heading endophyte free tall fescue that starts growing early in the spring and grows later into the fall. Excellent for stockpiling for fall grazing. Adapted to both southern and northern climates.
A newer late very high yielding hay type tall fescue with improved digestibility. We do not recommend Kora for grazing dairy cows. Bred in the Czech Republic. In our plots Kora looks fantastic. Great on less than ideal soils. Highly recommended for dairy quality haylage. NDFd 72.8 at 48 hours. Kora has impressed us with very high yields almost everywhere we put it. In a Cornell trial it was #1 out of 48 tall fescues for a combination of yield and quality in 2 out of 3 locations. Kora works well mixed with alfalfa and helps it dry more easily.
Also available in Certified Organic.
Martin II is an early-medium maturity, novel-endophyte tall fescue with high palatability, suitable for baleage, dry hay, grazing and stockpiling. Protek™ is a novel endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that does not produce detectable levels of harmful ergot alkaloids such as the toxin ergovaline. Protek™ endophyte inoculated plants have shown improved tolerance to environmental stresses such as heat and drought.
A blend of Barenbrug’s best two soft leaf late heading varieties. Produces impressive dry matter yields with exceptional levels of digestible fiber. These varieties have improved palatability for grazing and are also good for mixing with alfalfa for stored forage.
Timothy is a very palatable grass and is well adapted to heavy soils. Timothy usually has huge production in spring, but it drops off in summer and fall. Slow in fall and very early spring. Seed shallow; no deeper than 1/4” in a firm seedbed. Recommended seeding rate: 10-15 lbs/A.