Quickdraw orchardgrass is a perennial, cool-season bunchgrass best suited for fertile, light to medium soils with good drainage. It can persist on moderately poor drained soils. Orchardgrass has good winter hardiness, tolerance to shade and moderate tolerance to drought. It is an excellent choice for pasture, hay, greenchop or silage. There is typically a 10 to 20 day spread in heading date between early and late maturing varieties. Use a later heading variety as a companion to alfalfa.
- Early maturing Orchardgrass-produces massive amounts of forage before summer heat slows growth
- Very rapid regrowth-quick recovery allows more frequent harvesting
- Tested in the south-excellent results in Kentucky compared to other cool season grasses
- Good persistence-when properly managed, stands can last many years
Orchardgrass is very responsive to fertilizer and aftermath production can be excellent with proper fertility and split N applications. For optimum first harvest yield and quality, orchardgrass should be harvested in early-mid boot stage or a cutting height of 3 to 4 inches so it can recover quickly and persistence can be maintained. For grazing, excellent grazing management is required to maintain persistence between rotations. Graze to 3 to 4 inches and rest 28 days between rotations. Orchardgrass does not persist well under continuous grazing. It is not a good candidate to pair with perennial ryegrass since their management protocols are so different.
Orchardgrass can be planted either in early spring or late summer depending on the area in the country being grown. Seeding depth is generally 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a firm seed bed. Rolling or using a cultipacker after seeding ensures even germination and emergence.
Tags: Orchardgrass, Quckdraw orchardgrass