How to Choose a Grass Variety That Works for You

They say variety is the spice of life. That's true, even when it comes to varieties of different forage grasses. Often, when we want to reseed our pastures, we may decide on a particular kind of grass, but may not consider all the varieties of that grass there are. Or, we may just ask for a 'pasture mix' without much consideration of what species, let alone what variety is contained within the mix. Neither of these methods of choosing what to plant is necessarily bad, but with a little added attention to variety we can get much more satisfactory results. Choosing the right variety of a species of grass can have subtle to very profound effects on production volume, maturity date, palatability, toxicity and a host of other characteristics that may or may not be important to a producer. I can't cover all the differences in varieties here or what differences are important and which ones aren't. That discussion is best left to conversations with local extension agents or your local seed supplier. But I can help you get that conversation started with some examples illustrating the differences between varieties and the potential importance they may have. Tall Fescue - Endophyte-infected and Endophyte-free Tall fescue is probably the most common forage found in the east-central states including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and others. The tall fescue variety "Kentucky 31" is a cool season grass and one of the grasses most resistant to grazing we have at our disposal.

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