Forage - Species, Varieties, Planting Dates, and Rates
Forages produced in Mississippi are either legumes or grasses. However, these can be grouped as annuals or perennials plus either warm-season or cool-season depending on the time of year they are growing. Annual legumes or grasses must be grown from seed each year; perennials continue to grow back each year from an established root system even though they may also produce seed .
Several of the grasses and legumes can be grown in mixtures and at different seasons to improve production and forage quality. For example, a perennial warm-season grass such as bermudagrass might be seeded in the fall with either crimson (annual) clover or white (perennial) clover. By using combinations, more days of forage production may be added to fit specific production needs.
The following is a list of forage species, varieties within species, planting dates, and seeding rates for most of the forages grown in Mississippi. Varieties change frequently; this listing is not complete. If you have questions about other forage varieties not listed, feel free to contact your county Extension agent. Planting varieties that have been carefully evaluated gives the grower an advantage in forage production.
|Species||Varieties*||Planting dates||Seeding rate per acre|
|Bahiagrass||Pensacola, Tifton 9
|15-20 lb seed
(Tifton 9, lower rate)
|Bermudagrass (from seed)||Common and other seed types||March–June||5–10 lb hulled seed|
|Bermudagrass (from sprigs and top growth)||See current Mississippi Forage Crop Variety Trials Bulletin||February-June Or April-August (top growth)||20,000 sprigs (20 bushels) or 1400 lb fresh hay clippings|
|Dallisgrass||Commercial||February–June||15 lb live seed|
|Millet (Browntop)||Commercial||May–July 15||25–30 lb|
|Millet (Pearl)||Tifleaf 3, Pennleaf and other commercial||May–July 15||20-30 lb
15 lb seed in rows
(oats, wheat, rye,
|See current Mississippi Small
Grains Variety Trials Bulletin
|Ryegrass||See current Mississippi Forage
Crop Variety Trials Bulletin
(September 25 South)
|Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids||Commercially available varieties||April–June||35 lb broadcast|
|Tall fescue||See current Mississippi Forage
Crop Variety Trials Bulletin
|Alfalfa||Apollo Supreme, Alfagraze, Florida 77, Cimarron VR,
Southern Special, WL 320 or 322HQ
|Alyce clover||Commercial||May 15–June 15||15–20 lb|
|Arrowleaf clover||Meechee, Yuchi||August 25–October 15||5-10 lb|
|Ball clover||Commercial||August 25–October 15||2-3 lb|
|Crimson clover||Tibbee, Dixie Autauga, Chief||August 25–October 15||20 lb|
|Lespedeza (Korean)||Climax, Summit||March–April||25-30 lb hulled|
|Lespedeza (striate)||Common, Kobe, Marion||March–April||30–35 lb hulled|
|Lespedeza (sericea)||Serala 76, AU-Donnelly, AU Lotan, Interstate 76||March–April||12–15 lb hulled|
|Peas (caley)||Commercial||September–October||50–55 lb|
|Red clover||Redland III, Cherokee, Cinnamon, Kenland, Kenstar, Redman||September–October||12-15 lb|
|Subterranean clover||Mt. Baker, Meteora, Woogenellup, Tallarook, Nangella||August 25–October 15||15–20 lb|
|Vetch||Cahaba White, Vanguard, Vantage Hairy(Americus, Common), Nova II||September–October||20-25 lb|
|White clover||La. S-1, Regal, Osceola, Nolin||September–October||2-3 lb|
|Berseem clover||Bigbee||August 15–October 25||20–25 lb|
* The information given here is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade names are made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended against other products that may also be suitable. All legume seed should be well inoculated with specific inoculant. Variety trial bulletins can be obtained from your county Extension office.
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