Guides for Identifying Pasture Grasses

This is the time of year when folks wonder, "What's that growing in my pasture?" You can use these handy guides to help you find out. A number of On Pasture readers have asked for help identifying what they've got growing in their pastures. Finding resources for all of you is a little challenging because you're all over the globe, and while there are some similarities, there are also a lot of differences.  With that in mind, here are some resources you can check out to get you started.  And remember, identifying grasses in particular is not an easy thing. So if you have a local expert, do give him or her a call. Northeast U.S. This is a short and sweet handout with pictures and descriptions from Sid Bosworth, University of Vermont Extension. Identifying grasses isn't easy, and what I like about this resource is that it points out the little identifiers that make all the difference when you're trying to separate one kind of grass from another. Midwest U.S. From University of Wisconsin-Extension, this full color booklet is great for folks in the midwest United States. I really like the pictures and the table at the back that tells you about growth habit, weed suppression ability, drought

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5 thoughts on “Guides for Identifying Pasture Grasses

  1. Thank you. I am also lookingfor TEFF seed and planting instructions as to depth and amount per acre. Any help?

    Doc.

    1. I think your best bet would be to talk to a seed supplier near you. I did a quick google search for you. If you click on this link, you’ll see what I find. Hopefully you’ll see someone you can talk to. I also know that one of our advertisers, Kings Agriseeds, sells Teff seed. You can find them here.

      Here’s what I get from the Teff Grass Management Guide: Recommended seeding rate is usually 5 to 7 pounds per acre for raw seed and 8 to 10 pounds per acre for coated seed. It’s a very small seed that requires good seed to soil contact and should be planted at 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Deeper than 1/2 inch will probably result in failure. It’s supposed to be planted after all danger of frost has passed. And apparently there are varieties that are grain types and forage types, so be sure your seed supplier knows what you’re looking for.

      Hope that helps!

  2. There are also a few apps that will help identify grasses. Kansas Wildflowers is a good one for the praiire states. iNaturalist does flora and fauna. Plant Snap and Pictures This try to identify grasses and forbs from pictures you take on your phone. I haven’t’ had great success with either of those apps.

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