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identifying grasses

 
                        
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A couple of questions..does anyone know of a good resource for identifying prairie grasses?  I am collecting seed from various feral or wild grasses and it would be good to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Also, how long after bloom is there viable seed in sweet clovers or alfalfa?

After wasting hundreds of dollars on seed that didnt grow, last year I collected seed from roadsides and such and this year saw the beginnings of healing. .some patches of grass really took hold.  So working on this again this year,,but it would be nice to know what these grasses are.
 
                      
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Here are some grass identification resources:

http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/turfid/ItemID.aspx?orderID=GR&orderDesc=Grass

http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/rightsid.htm

http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A3637.pdf

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/ForageID/forageid.htm


Here's some info on growing alfalfa for seed, when to harvest is listed on page 7.

http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/modp1/morefile/E0111.pdf

Here's some info on harvesting sweet clover seed, near the end of the page:

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/hay/r862w.htm

Hope that helps!
 
                        
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StewartrIL     Thank you!  This will keep me going for a while..I had found some info but nothing that had photos and I don't have enough botany background to  identify stuff from descriptions..I needed PHOTOS .  It seems I have mostly been collecting smooth brome and orchard grasses with some fescue. Also a few other grasses as yet unidentified but not as common.  Also was great info on when to harvest the seeds of clovers and alfalfa.  Thanks!
 
                      
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I can identify some species of grass that I didn't see listed in those resources, so if you want help with something you can't identify shoot me an email or post a pic.
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 495
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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I know this is an old thread, but here goes (we're new hobby farming).

On our place, we're getting two cuttings of grass each year. I noticed the first-cutting grass looked different than the second-cutting grass. The second growth of grass is a bit less dense, but also has a slight purple color to it and when I shock a grain head in my palms, there is a good deal of oily residue. I'm assuming this is good fat content for the animals eating it, but I didn't notice this color or oily condition in the first growth of the grass. I spoke to one of my horse-owning neighbors if these were two different plants and he said it's not likely and he believed it was fescue and that it just has different characteristics since it's a second growth.

I guess my two questions are:

Is it normal for a grass to be so different in its second growth than its first growth?

What is the principle difference visualy between fescue and brome?

Thanks,
Dan

 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Dan , the spring growth of grasses is considered the highest in protein . After the grass { or many other plants } has seeded most of the protein content is now in the seed . The grass becomes more carbohydrate rich at the end of the season . You can see that this cycle helps herbivores to put on muscle mass early in the year and fatten for the winter.
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 495
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Thanks for the info, wayne.
 
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