Freezing temperature impact on Brome grass, Orchard grass, and red clover hay field

Asked October 10, 2018, 9:41 AM EDT

My questions are in regards to if the temperature gets down to 28 degrees for 7 hours on October 14th. My questions are as follows: Q 1: Is that considered a frost event or a freezing event for those type of grasses? Q 2: Are those two types of grasses and clover susceptible to creating toxicity issues if cut within 3 days after the temperature dipping down to 28 degrees for seven hours like Johnson grass or other sorghum plants? (I have read in articles that the reason for this situational toxicityin sorghums is that when the plant is under stress, it produces a chemical called prussic or hydrocyanic acid (HCN), or more commonly called cyanide but wasn't sure if brome grass, orchard grass, or red clover have that same issue.) Q 3: Is there any reason why I should have a toxicity test done if the temp is 28 degrees Sunday night and then I cut the hay on Monday-Wednesday morning and then bale it that next weekend?

Iowa County Iowa

1 Response

I suggest you contact the extension crops specialist in your area. A list of extension crops specialists in Iowa can be found at