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Maine Pasture Management Course - Lesson 2. Plant Species Selection

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Maine Pasture Management Course

Lesson 2. Plant Species Selection

Timothy-grass

Timothy (Phleum pratense L.). Photo by Jennifer Cote.

The proper selection of plant species is the first step in long-term pasture production. Selecting the appropriate species for specific pastures where they will be grown for their intended use is practical and cost effective. The species mixture should be adapted to the pasture soil and management criteria. Knowing your objectives and criteria for pastures will make the selection much easier.

Producers can be divided into two groups when it comes to species selection. The first group is those who stay with the traditional cool season grasses and legumes species such as smooth bromegrass, bluegrass, timothy and orchardgrass in combination with the various legumes.

The second group of producers is made up of those looking for more variety and experiment with unconventional pasture crops such as chicory, turnips, winter annuals, summer annuals, and rape (canola). Each producer will have to determine what best fits his/her livestock and pastureĀ goals.

Lesson 2 (continued)

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