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 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. Orchardgrass is not quite as digestible as ryegrass, festulolium, timothy, and brome; thus milk or meat production may not be as high as when grazing these other options.
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.
Seed at 20 lb/A for pure stands to as little as 3 lb/A with high legume mixtures.
King’s Best Orchardgrass Blend
A blend of 2 or more premium late heading leafy orchardgrasses. The varieties in this mixture will head out approximately 7 to 14 days later than Pennlate.The concept of blending superior quality varieties in one package allows the strengths of individual varieties to work together to improve productivity. Great for mixing with legumes such as Alfalfa and Clovers. 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.
A mixture of Barenbrug leafy late maturing varieties. Stands for High Leaf Ratio. For 2012, this blend contains two varieties; Intensiv and Baridana.
Our latest heading leafy orchardgrass that matches up with alfalfa very well. It is a semi-prostrate variety with fine, soft leaves. Also an excellent grazing variety.
New orchardgrass that is capable of very high dry matter yields with good digestibility. It withstands cold winter temperatures and shows strong disease resistance. Endurance creates an erect, open bunch type sod, making it very compatible with legumes. Maturity is similar to Pennlate and Persist. Not recommended to be mixed with alfalfa as maturity is early compared with alfalfa.
A very late heading and high yielding new orchardgrass variety. This variety works well in the south.
Intensiv has become one of our favorite varieties, as it does very well from the south to the north. Intensiv has fine leaves and is a healthy orchardgrass. Its heading date is about 3 to 4 days later than Baridana, but is earlier than Athos.
We have looked at Niva for about six years and started marketing as certified organic a few years ago. Needless to say Niva did very well in organics and we have decided to market it as a conventional product as well. Niva is a late heading orchardgrass that seems to take lower fertility well and has few disease problems. We recommend Niva to be used in Pennsylvania and further north. Also available in Certified Organic.
A new 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 to be seeded with alfalfa. Its quality is similar to other US bred orchardgrasses, but not as high as our other 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. If you want to graze tall fescue, keep it short; less than 6 inches ensure palatability. 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 dairies. 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.
BAROPTIMUM Plus E34
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 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 about 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 easilsy. Also available in Certified Organic.
STF-43 (Soft-Leaf Tall Fescue)
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.
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 the south and the north.
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 of 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.
HDR is denser and taller than other meadow fescues tested. The quality and palatability of HDR approaches that of ryegrass.
Laura is an excellent long lived variety of meadow fescue that we have been using for several years. Excellent component of pasture and some hay mixes.
Festuloliums are man made 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 similar to ryegrass, to similar to tall fescue.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 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.
A new long lived festulolium that tolerates heat and drought well. Fojtan is a fescue type with great nutrition.
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.
A very high yielding 2 to 3 year crop. An “Italian type” tetraploid that should give 3 years of high production. It is an Italian ryegrass cross with meadow fescue. Great for extending the life of thin alfalfa fields for up to 3 years. A key ingredient of our popular Greenfast mixture. Do not graze shorter than 3 inches. We have seen some foliar diseases in warm, humid, wet conditions. Best if used in PA and further north.
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. Ryegrass is harder to dry for hay and it does not perform well in hot or dry weather.
Ryegrass comes in many different forms: perennial, hybrid, Italian and annual. Besides this, it can be in two different forms, diploid, or tetraploid.
Seed at 40 to 50 lbs/acre for a pure stand.
(Short lived ryegrass 2 to 3 years)
A short lived ryegrass that is very high yielding for approximately 2 to 3 years. Excellent for short rotation fields and for a nurse crop.
Diploid Perennial Ryegrass
A Barenbrug blend of late maturing European varieties of diploid ryegrasses. This blend produces a very dense sward, the yield is higher than it looks. Excellent winter hardiness and 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 resistence and density. As newer better varieties are developed, Barenbrug includes them into the blend.
Diploid / Tetraploid Blend
A unique, innovative blend of early and intermediate maturing diploid and tetraploid varieties. Includes varieties that are both heat and cold tolerant.
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.
A tetraploid from Barenbrug that is both high yielding and very winter hardy. Also has excellent forage quality and disease tolerance. Remington was the best looking ryegrass in our test plots in the drought and heat of 2005, although it did have more summer headiness than our other tetraploid varieties.
A late heading winter hardy European variety 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. Also available in Certified Organic.
This is a very palatable grass and is well adapted to heavy soils. Timothy usually has huge production in spring, but then rather poor in summer and fall. Slow in fall and very early spring. Seed shallow; no deeper than 1/4” in a firm seedbed.
This leafy high yielding timothy has been getting great comments since it was released 2 years ago. Barfleo has a similar maturity date as Climax, but much leafier and higher yielding.
Similar to Barliza, but has been yielding more in research plots. It is about 7 to 10 days later than Climax.
Tenho adds a good combination of palatability, spring growth, health and winter hardiness to the stand. With good persistence and late maturity, it works great for pasture mixes and straight stands. 5-10 days later than Climax.
Dolina is a high yielding and persistent hay type with excellent disease resistance. Dolina has both prolific spring growth and high fall yields. It is also very good for grazing.
An early Timothy that does very well in the south.
A late European variety best for intensive grazing and multiple cuts.
Hakari Alaska Brome
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.
MONTANA MEADOW BROME
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.
MATUA PRAIRIE BROME
Matua is a fast starting but shorter lived brome that is ideal for south of Pennsylvania. Prairie Bromes are fairly drought tolerant and excellent for fall production. Note: This seed is normally treated with a fungicide.
Carlton Smooth Brome
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.
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.
King’s Reed Canarygrass Blend
A blend of 2 or 3 improved low alkaloid varieties. We will strive to select the best varieties possible. By blending varieties together the strength of each variety will ideally be expressed throughout the growing season.
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.
BALIN KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS
Balin is a fast establishing taller bluegrass. We will be evaluating Balin further, but have confidence that it works very well in mixtures from European data.