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Forage - Species, Varieties, Planting Dates, and Rates

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Publication Number: IS1168
Updated: March 31, 2016
View as PDF: IS1168.pdf

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
Argentine-South
February–June (best)
Or September-November
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
Johnsongrass Commercial April–May 20–30 lb
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
Small Grains
(oats, wheat, rye,
barley, triticale)
See current Mississippi Small
Grains Variety Trials Bulletin
September–October 90–120 lbs
Ryegrass See current Mississippi Forage
Crop Variety Trials Bulletin
September–November
(September 25 South)
25–40 lb
Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids Commercially available varieties April–June 35 lb broadcast
Tall fescue See current Mississippi Forage
Crop Variety Trials Bulletin
September–November 20–25 lb
Alfalfa Apollo Supreme, Alfagraze, Florida 77, Cimarron VR,
Southern Special, WL 320 or 322HQ
September–October 12–25 lb
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.


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 or www.msucares.com.

Information Sheet 1168 (POD-03-16)

Distributed by Dr. Rocky Lemus, Associate Extension/Research Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences. Written by Dr. Malcolm L. Broome and Dr. David Lang.

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Authors

Assoc Extension/Research Prof
Forage and Grazing Systems

Your Extension Experts

Assoc Extension/Research Prof
Forage and Grazing Systems
Asst Extension/Research Prof
Native grasses, forages, grazing management, conservation crops, biofuel crops

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