I am new to raising beef cattle, and have been researching planting C4...

Asked April 7, 2020, 12:02 PM EDT

I am new to raising beef cattle, and have been researching planting C4 grasses with C3 grasses for pasture that produce higher forage from April through October. Is mixing of the grasses advisable? Where can I find more documentation? Where can I get additional help if needed?

Jackson County Ohio

1 Response

There are a few things that we can do to help reduce the decrease in yield seen during the summer of our cool season grasses here in Ohio. Here is a pretty comprehensive presentation regarding C4 grasses https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/u.osu.edu/dist/8/29455/files/2016/03/warm-season-forage-presentation-2m14gpz.pdf.

The challenge with C4, warm season grasses is establishment and animal intake. We have many years of research on grazing oats in Ohio. Oats are best as a forage when planted around August 1 and can provide quality forage through December.

A fairly new forage to Ohio is Italian Ryegrass. While it is technically a cool season grass, we have had success in managing it as a summer annual forage. If planted in late April/early May, after about 45 days it can be a viable forage if not over grazed through the summer as well. For more resources visit beef.osu.edu or forages.osu.edu.

If you have additional questions my contact information can be found at henry.osu.edu.