Why Consider a Forage Blend for Dual Purpose Hay or Pasture Needs?

February 02, 2017 | Kelly Barany, Chin Ridge Seeds

Sometimes we will get questions about whether a customer should seed a forage blend or just one type of forage seed for dual purpose Hay and Pasture blends.  We tell folks that that there are a number of benefits of going with forage blends and here are a few:

when you seed a mixture, you will have more even forage production because different species of grasses mature at slightly different rates. these different maturity dates can also help you extend your grazing season. a diverse mixture may work best across fields that have variation in terms of soil, salinity etc.  Certain grasses may produce better under certain conditions. a diverse mixture of grass will provide a broader range of nutrients for grazing animals to have a more balanced diet. research suggests a mixed stand is more resistant to insects and disease.

We have a few different dual purpose hay and pasture blends. 

These blends differ in terms of whether they work well in dry or high moisture (irrigation) conditions.  Another consideration is whether or not alfalfa is included in the blend. Alfalfa can help improve rate of gain for cattle and improve palatability.  However, alfalfa grazing must be managed to ensure that animals do not bloat, so our most popular dual purpose hay and pasture blends have very limited levels of alfalfa in them for this reason.  

Here is some info on some of our more popular dual purpose hay and pasture blends:

DRYLAND CHOICES: With Alfalfa:  Prairie Max – Dryland pasture production. Meadow Bromegrass offers a long grazing season with very good quality and regrowth. Crested Wheatgrass, excellent early season growth. • 75% Fleet Meadow Bromegrass • 20% Kirk Crested Wheatgrass • 5% Runner Alfalfa Without alfalfa Saline Pasture Max – High quality all grass blend, no concerns with bloat. Widely adapted blend to various soil types and moisture conditions. • 30% Barolex Tall Fescue • 30% Carlton Smooth Bromegrass • 20% Slender Wheatgrass • 20% Dahurian Wildrye IRRIGATION CHOICES: with alfalfa Dual Max – High quality grass blend with small amount of alfalfa. Offers excellent grazing potential.  Prefers medium to heavy soils • 75% Fleet Meadow Bromegrass • 20% High Arctic Brand Orchardgrass • 5%  Alfalfa Blend 10-5 without alfalfa Western Grass Max – High quality all grass blend. If properly managed can be a very productive pasture blend. No concerns with bloat. Note - this is also our recommended horse hay blend.  • 35% Fleet Meadow Bromegrass • 25% High Arctic Brand Orchardgrass • 15% Barolex Tall Fescue • 15% Rough Stock Brand Kentucky Bluegrass • 10% Express Timothy

Contact us for more information on pricing and availability of these blends for spring 2017.