A versatile plant that can be used for pasture, greenchop, silage and hay.
Orchardgrass demonstrates improved protein, total digestible nutrients, average daily gains, weaning weights and milk production.
Widely adapted and can be grown alone or in mixtures.
Orchardgrass has played an important role in animal agriculture in the U.S. for almost two hundred years.
Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) is a tall-growing, cool-season, perennial bunchgrass that plays an important role in forage-based agriculture in the U.S. It is a versatile plant that can be used for pasture, greenchop, silage and hay. It is the grass that is most frequently grown with alfalfa and is an important component in horse pasture mixtures.
It has the potential to produce high forage yields and, with proper management, can produce high quality forage and result in good animal performance from many species of forage-consuming animals.
Quality & Animal Performance
Orchardgrass can produce high quality pasture, hay, or silage when managed properly, and can provide excellent quality feed to forage-consuming animals. The forage quality of pasture or stored feed is influenced by many factors including fertility, pests, growing conditions (temperature-moisture) and management. The single most important factor influencing orchardgrass quality is stage of maturity (plant age) when harvested.
In the vegetative (leafy) stage, orchardgrass forage is high quality; but it declines rapidly as the plant matures. Studies at many universities as well as extensive farmer experience demonstrate that improved protein, total digestible nutrients, average daily gains, weaning weights and milk production on orchardgrass pasture and hay or silage result when the forage is utilized at an early stage of growth.