Pastures: Warm-Season Grasses
Switchgrass, big bluestem, Caucasian bluestem, and Indiangrass must be rotationally grazed (not shorter than 6 to 12 inches in summer) for persistent productivity. These grasses grow tall, and cattle generally begin grazing them from the top of the canopy down. For more information, see “Warm-Season Grasses,” above.
Forage chicory is a perennial suited to well- or moderately drained soils with medium to high fertility levels and a pH of 5.5 or greater. Chicory produces leafy growth that is higher in nutritive and mineral content (if managed properly) than alfalfa or cool-season grasses. It has a relatively deep taproot, making it tolerant to drought. Chicory provides excellent spring and summer forage for grazing animals.
Although chicory is a relatively new forage crop in the United States, it has been used in other countries for over 300 years. Much of the breeding for improved forage characteristics has been completed in New Zealand. For more detailed information about chicory, refer to Agronomy Facts 45: Forage Chicory, available from your local cooperative extension office.