Piaute Medium Wheat Grass

Asked May 17, 2018, 1:01 PM EDT

I recently purchased some baled grass from my hay dealer here in Washington State. Our horses found it extremely palatable and was some of the best hay we have fed ever. In fact it was like they could not get enough of this hay. I asked my hay dealer what it was at the time of purchased and he got it from Eastern Oregon in the "dryland" area and it was called Piaute Medium Wheat Grass. I have done an extensive search for a couple of weeks and cannot locate such a strain of grass. I found a Piaute Orchard Grass used in the dryland areas but not a wheat grass. Can you provide any insight in the Piaute Medium Wheat Grass and is such a species even exist. I would like to research seed availability in reseeding our pastures using wheat grass. For clarification this is not a grain type wheat that was cut and baled before seed heads set. What we purchased had seed heads with the heads quite small in nature but the wheat grass was long stemmed. Any information or insight would be greatly appreciated as I am very interesting is acquiring seed stock for sowing.

Thurston County Washington

1 Response

You question was directed to me. Your investigative work is correct, I am very familiar with Paiute Orchard grass. I wondering if your hay dealer got confused when describing the the species. Paiute is a widely grown variety of Orchard grass. Orchard grass is an excellent forage grass. Especially when cut at the right time. It is very palatable for horses. I suspect this is the species in the hay that you have or had. f there are seed heads in the hay, you should be able to tell if it is orchard grass, because its head is distinct from wheat grass. I have attached an image of a seed head of Orchard grass.

Medium wheat grass is not a species. There are numerous species of wheatgrass, but medium is not one . Commonly grown species of wheatgrasses
are crested, western, pubescent, Intermediate and Tall. All these species are less palatable than orchard grass and where widely used in the CRP program

I am going to go out on a on a limb and say what you have is orchard grass. Or a mixture of Orchard grass and some other species.