Comparing Quality and Yield of Different Grass Species in a Dry Hay Two-Cut System

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1999: $1,820.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $3,110.00
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay


  • Animal Production: stockpiled forages, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal summary:

    Many livestock producers continue to put up most of their forage as dry hay. In looking at hay crops for my farm, I have concluded that grass offers the best possibilities for my situation. My hill ground is not suited for alfalfa, red clover does not last over two years and white clover has lower yields. Much research has been on producing quality grass forage by harvesting silage early. However, the climate in the Northeast makes it difficult, if not impossible to produce dry hay at this optimal time. I would like to compare Tall fescue, ryegrass and timothy for quality and yield, when harvested for dry hay in mid to late June. I would like to find which species loses the least quality when compared to early cut, which yields the best and which have a good longevity in the Northeast. I have chosen tall fescue and ryegrass because they are fine stemmed and make palatable dry hay. Timothy is the "standard" grass grown in the northeast and will make a good reference for comparison.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.