(8 to 10 lbs per acre)
Inoculated Ladak 65
Coated Rugged -Salt Tolerant
Round up Ready
Creeping Rooted Alfalfas (Grazing)
Visit our Seed Resources Page for Alfalfa Field Trials
Reasons to seed grass with alfalfa
Yield. Harvested yield is the single largest driver of profitability when producing stored forage, and alfalfa-grass mixtures often yield more than alfalfa alone.
Drying rate. Grasses with stems present accelerate swath drying rate.
Persistence. Fall growth/residue of grasses provides better snow catch and insulation than alfalfa stubble alone, so alfalfa crowns are better protected from winter injury.
Feeding value. At similar stages of maturity, grasses have higher NDF than legumes, but considerably higher NDF digestibility.
Natural weed suppression. Weeds are opportunists that encroach in perennial forage stands when too much bare soil is exposed for too long. Some grasses improve the speed with which full soil cover is achieved during the seeding year. Many grasses also provide more long-term cover, particularly if broadcast seeded or if they are sod-formers. This reduces opportunities for weeds to establish.
Erosion control. This is a major advantage of a small grain companion crop.
Bloat. While not an issue with haylage or hay, grass-alfalfa mixtures have less bloat potential than pure alfalfa when grazed.
It’s natural. Prairies are diverse mixtures of grasses and legumes, not legume monocultures.
Inoculated YB Clover (Organic option available) (8 to 10 lbs per acre)
Yellow Blossom Sweet Clover is an annual to bi-annual (two years) legume. It is a productive, drought tolerant, low bloat species. However, it does contain coumarin which gives it a slightly bitter taste making it less palatable than other legumes. If fed in excess the coumarin can cause bleeding disease. Yellow blossom clover often becomes coarse and stemmy and because of this and palatability issues it is most often used for green manure plow down for nitrogen fixation.
Alsike Clover (5 to 6 lbs per acre)
Alsike Clover is a special use perennial clover, it has high winter survival, tolerates cold, wet and acidic conditions better than other clovers but it usually out-produced by other clover species. It does not tolerate drought very well and is usually grown as a mixture with Brome Grass because other taller grasses will outcompete it. It is not noted as being a highly palatable species and is known to carry a high risk of bloat. It can cause photosensitization when fed.
Sainfoin (34 lbs per acre)
Sainfoin is a highly palatable non-bloat legume, it is a preferred forage over alfalfa and other legumes. It is quick to establish and drought tolerant but is about 30% less productive than alfalfa. It is also known to have a stand life of about 2 years unless the plants are periodically left unharvested to make seed.
Cicer Milkvetch (7 to 10 lbs per acre)
Cicer Milkvetch is a perennial non-bloat legume. Yields are comparable to alfalfa in areas with long growing seasons but field trials in North Dakota have shown it to produce about 30% less feed than alfalfa. It is not as palatable as other legumes but feed value is high due to a higher leaf to stem ratio than other legumes. Cicer Milkvetch has an extremely hard seed coat so it is known to establish more slowly than other species. Because of this wheatgrasses will initially outcompete it, it is best planted with Meadow Brome Grass or in a pure stand. Stands of Cicer Milkvetch resist overgrazing because of their sod forming rhizomes. Close grazing stimulates growth and results in increased stand density.
Red Clover (8 to 10 lbs per acre)
Red Clover is a highly palatable biennial legume that is known for ease of establishment. It can cause bloat and is usually seeded straight or with grains or grasses. Regrowth is poor so only 1 crop should be expected each year.
Berseem Clover (10 to 12 lbs per acre)
Depending upon growing conditions, Berseem Clover is often the most productive of the clover family. It produces good forage quality, tolerates some saline and excessively wet conditions but does not tolerate drought as well as some other clovers. Berseem does not tolerate frost or winter and is a one year crop in the upper Midwest. This makes it a good species for use with annual cover crops because growth will not occur in year two.
Ladino White Clover (2 to 8 lbs per acre)
White Ladino is a perennial clover. It prefers cool and moist conditions and it is not very drought or winter tolerant. It is highly palatable.
Crimson Clover (15 to 20 lbs per acre)
Crimson Clover is an early maturing annual legume. It is productive but does not tolerate extreme heat or cold very well. It does pose some bloat risk and is usually used as a nitrogen builder for soil improvement.
Smooth Bromegrass (6.5 to 8 lbs per acre)
Smooth bromegrass is a long-lived, cool-season, sod-forming perennial grass used extensively for hay, pasture and soil conservation. Northern and intermediate types develop less aggressive sod and may maintain the alfalfa component of a mixture longer. Southern types are earlier in maturity. It is an excellent hay and pasture grass for the eastern two-thirds of North Dakota and on better soils westward. Close grazing in the spring delays regrowth from crown buds. Stands become unproductive in three to four years if not fertilized. It is used extensively for grassed waterways and other soil and water conservation practices. Rebound was selected for rapid recovery after haying or grazing.
Meadow Bromegrass (13.5 to 16.5 lbs per acre)
Meadow bromegrass is a long-lived, cool-season, perennial bunchgrass. It has good seedling vigor and is easy to establish. Forage quality is excellent. It has strong regrowth potential following grazing. Leaves are dominantly basal. Under favorable moisture, leaves remain green and continue to grow after the seed crop is mature. Meadow bromegrass is winter hardy but provides less forage than smooth bromegrass under drought stress. It is suggested for use with alfalfa for hay and pasture on good moisture sites. Meadow bromegrass has excellent regrowth potential when moisture is adequate
Dahurain Wildrye (8.5 to 10 lbs per acre)
Dahurian wildrye is a short-lived perennial bunchgrass that is easy to establish, with excellent seedling vigor, good forage production, and quick recovery after haying. Dahurian is recommended for hay or pasture in situations where stands persist past two or three years. It has been seeded in alternate or perpendicular rows with longer-lived but slower establishing grasses to enhance early production. Authur and James are Canadian varieties.
Nordan Crested (6 to 7 lbs per acre)
Crested wheatgrass is an early, long-lived, coolseason, drought tolerant, perennial bunchgrass with excellent seedling vigor and ease of establishment. It is used primarily for hay and early spring pasture in mixtures with alfalfa. The fairway types are shorter, leafier and have less tendency to form large clumps with age. The variety Fairway is frequently used in dryland lawns. Ephraim has lower forage yields but was selected for its slowly developing sod-forming characteristic, which is useful as a low-maintenance ground cover. RoadCrest has a short stature and finer leaves and is moderately rhizomatous, which is desirable for roadsides and other low-maintenance applications.
Hycrest Crested (6 to 7 lbs per acre)
Hycrest Crested Wheatgrass offers improved forage and yield over its parent species. It was developed at ARS in Logan, Utah by crossing Fairway and Desert Crested Wheatgrass. It has excellent seedling vigor and is easier to establish than either of it’s parents. It is very drought tolerant, establishes well on dry sites, and thrives in sagebrush communities. It is best adapted to 5-9,00′ in elevation and does well on shallow to deep, coarse to fine textures, moderately well to well drained soils. It is not adapted to excessively saline areas.
Intermediate Wheatgrass (8.5 to 10 lbs per acre)
Intermediate wheatgrass is a vigorous, fast-growing, cool-season, perennial, sod-forming grass. Varieties differ in the amount of pubescence on seed head and leaves. Forage yield is similar among all varieties and types, with the exception of Reliant, Oahe, Chief, and Manska, which tend to be higher producing. Both types of intermediate wheatgrass are often included in seed mixtures for hay and pasture due to their ease of establishment and fast growth. To maintain productivity, do not closely graze in the spring and do not graze past August 1. Intermediate wheatgrass is often used in seed mixtures for wildlife habitat. Reliant is more of a bunch type, developed to be less competitive with alfalfa in hayland planting.
Pubescent Wheatgrass (8.5 to 10 lbs per acre)
The pubescent varieties of wheatgrass are reported to be more drought tolerant and form a sod more rapidly than intermediate varieties. Forage yield is similar among all varieties and types, with the exception of Reliant, Oahe, Chief, and Manska, which tend to be higher producing. To maintain productivity, do not closely graze in the spring and do not graze past August 1. Manska, reselected from Mandan 759, has shown significantly higher forage quality and improved animal daily gain in grazing tests.
Russian Wildrye (6 to 7.5 lbs per acre)
Russian wildrye is an early, long-lived, cool-season, drought tolerant, perennial bunchgrass with fine basal leaves. It is a special purpose grass used primarily to extend the grazing season into late fall. Protein content of the forage remains at relatively high levels when saved for fall grazing. It is adapted to loam and clay soils and possesses a moderately high tolerance to saline-alkali soils. Seedlings develop more slowly than many other species, but once established, Russian wildrye is highly competitive with other forage species, Russian wildrye is recommended for fall grazing in separate pastures as a single species. Mankota is a new variety selected for improved seedling vigor, resistance to leaf diseases and 15 to 20 percent higher forage yields in good moisture sites or years.
Timothy (10 lbs per acre)
Timothy is a cold-hardy, short-lived bunchgrass from Europe with shallow, fibrous roots. It is palatable and nutritious. It has poor recovery with limited moisture and does not tolerate drought. Forage production and regrowth greatly benefit from irrigation and fertilizer. Stems arise from a swollen base, which is a key identification feature. Timothy is best suited to the higher rainfall area in the eastern one-third of North Dakota.
Orchardgrass (3.5 lbs per acre)
Orchardgrass is a long-lived bunchgrass that commonly forms clumps by tillering. Most of the foliage is produced by basal leaves. It often is used in pasture and hay mixes with other species because it establishes rapidly. Regrowth is excellent with adequate moisture. Winter injury may occur without reliable snow cover. It is used mainly where precipitation exceeds 20 inches and the growing season exceeds 120 days, which limits it primarily to the southeastern portion of North Dakota.
Chinook, Kay and Kayak are the most winter hardy varieties.
Visit our Seed Resources Page for publications on North Dakota Grass Varieties
Chesaks Hay Mix
20% Meadow Bromegrass
15% Intermediate Wheatgrass
15% Pubescent Wheatgrass
Chesaks Salt Mix
10% Russian Wildrye
25% Western Wheatgrass
35% Green Wheatgrass
20% Rugged Alfalfa
Chesaks Flood/Wetland Mix
30% Creeping Foxtail
10% Canada Wildrye
10% Western Wheatgrass
10% Slender Wheatgrass
Chesaks Pasture Mix
30% Meadow Bromegrass
25% Intermediate Wheatgrass
25% Pubescent Wheatgrass
10% Travois Grazing Alfalfa
Chesaks Native Pasture Mix
35% Big Bluestem
Chesaks Native Mix
10% Green Needlegrass
10% Slender Wheatgrass
10% Canada Wildrye
10% Big Bluestem
10% Little Bluestem
10% Blue Grama
10% Sideoats grama