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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Warm-Season Grasses

Species: Warm-Season Grasses

Additional warm-season grasses information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Big Bluestem & Switchgrass Harvest Management

The seeding year stand should not be harvested unless there is unusually good growth and the stand is vigorous. Established plants should be cut or grazed when they are 18 to 24 inches in height (late boot stage). Leave a 4 to 6 inch stubble for rapid regrowth. Live weight gains of 2.5 pounds per day have been obtained when steers grazed warm-season grasses head emergence. While warm-season grasses are normally harvested twice or grazed for a short period of time during the late summer, they produce relatively high yields. Enough time should be allowed for at least 12 inches of fall regrowth before frost. Plants can be harvested after frost without damage to them.

Removal of dead stubble in December will increase grass yields during the following growing season. This can be done with grazing animals but these animals will need protein supplement during the grazing period.