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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Smooth Bromegrass

Species: Smooth Bromegrass

Additional smooth bromegrass information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Smooth Bromegrass Harvest Management

Growth stage is the most important factor in smooth bromegrass harvest management. Bromegrass is somewhat tolerant of light grazing during the tillering stage of growth. During this initial flush of growth, the growing point is below the ground. Later, shoots enter the jointing stage of growth. During this stage, the growing point may be destroyed by mowing or close grazing.

If the growing point is destroyed at early jointing (stem elongation), regrowth will be slow as new growth will have to come from basal buds not yet developed. When seed heads emerge, it is time to clip pastures or to harvest the forage for hay or silage. This will assure quality forage and quick regrowth of the new crop. Timely harvest of the spring crop resulted in a 33% increase in total season yield over harvesting too early. Smooth bromegrass persistence and yield are adversely affected by early harvesting of the spring growth. However, delaying the spring harvest beyond early bloom will result in large reductions in forage digestibility and protein content.

The aftermath crop similarly produces a growing point that is above ground approximately 5 weeks after the first harvest. If it is necessary to harvest the regrowth during the jointing stage of development, adjust the cutter bar above the growing point (4 inches) to assure a good third harvest. The quality of the aftermath harvests is only slightly affected by time of harvest.