Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2005
Publication Date: 2/5/2007
Citation: Casler, M.D., Kallenbach, R. 2007. Grasses for temperate humid regions. In:Barnes, R. F., Nelson, C.J., Moore, K.J., Collins, M., editors. Forages: The science of grassland agriculture. Vol II. 6th edition. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 211-220. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Cool-season grasses used for livestock production in humid areas of North American are mainly introduced species from Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Most of these grasses were introduced into North America in the mid- to late 18th century and were spread across the country by settlers during the 19th century and via agricultural research networks and marketing channels during the 20th century. Many of these grasses have become ubiquituous in many parts of eastern North America. The humid areas of North America in which cool-season grasses are important livestock feeds include nearly the entire area east of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Seaboard, from the Canadian taiga to the southern edge of the Transition Zone between warm- and cool-season species. The Transition Zone is generally considered to extend from the Carolinas to Missouri, extending as far south as central Georgia and Alabama and north to Kentucky. Due to mild maritime climates, cool-season grasses are also highly adapted and utilized between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Basin, including plains and coastal mountain ranges from Northern California to South-central Alaska. An array of forms and functions are represented by the cool season grasses used for livestock production and conservation in the humid areas of North America. These grasses reproduce vegetatively by intravaginal tillers, corms, or rhizomes and range from clumpy bunchgrasses to dense sod-formers. They have an array of uses including hay and haylage, silage, pasture, soil conservation, wildlife food and cover, land reclamation and restoration, buffer zones, revegetation of riparian zones, nutrient recycling, pollution abatement, and disposal zones for manure, effluent, and wastewater. Cool-season grasses are utilized as monocultures in specialized production systems and as components of pasture, hay, or conservation mixtures.