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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347883

Title: Identification of temperate pasture grasses and legumes

item Casler, Michael
item UNDERSANDER, DANIEL - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Citation: Casler, M.D., Undersander, D.J. 2018. Identification of temperate pasture grasses and legumes. P. Sharpe. Horse Pasture Management. Academic Press, UK. p.11-36

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Grasses and legumes are the foundation of horse pastures and horse hay. The most common of these are Kentucky bluegrass, bromegrass, orchardgrass, timothy, tall fescue, clovers, trefoil, and alfalfa. Identification of these species is critical for both pasture management and livestock management. Undesirable species may produce toxic compounds that can endanger the health and life of valuable livestock. All grasses and legumes can be identified easily when there are reproductive organs, such as flowers, on the legumes or heads on the grasses. It is often difficult to identify individual species when they are in the vegetative stage, which is most common in pastures. At this stage, leaf and stem characteristics are critical for identification. This book chapter provides sufficient details to identify 15 different grasses and legumes in horse pastures at either the reproductive or vegetative growth stage, providing a valuable reference for classroom students and outreach professionals in the horse industry.