Warm-Season Grass Demonstration for Dairy Farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1999: $2,520.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $6,000.00
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Project Leader:


  • Agronomic: other, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: pasture renovation, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: no-till
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization

    Proposal summary:

    In Maryland and neighboring states, warm season grasses are being adapted for wildlife habitat and some beef farms. Dairy heifers and dry cows can likely utilize WSG in summer grazing when cool season grasses are not growing well. The objective is to use our two farms in a team approach with two different soil conditions to test two different WSG in dairy forage/grazing systems. Our two farms have cooperated closely to improve our own systems and promote grazing in the county. This project should demonstrate the potential of increasing summer forage production with WSG particularly for dairy heifers and dry cows. Thousands of acres of marginal pasture land produce little forage in bluegrass and could produce more feed and provide better soil protection in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with more acres of WSG. This system would reduce summer forage production risk and reduce feeding stored feeds increasing dairy farm profitability by increasing annual animal grazing days. Both of our farms have been very active in regional pasture walks and seminars.

    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.