Naturalized grasslands contain many plant species all more or less adapted to the local environment. Each species in a pasture or field has a set of environment conditions that it is best adapted to. Environmental conditions include: sunlight intensity and day-length, daily maximum and minimum temperature, rainfall, soil drainage and rooting depth, soil pH and fertility, and defoliation frequency and intensity. Weather and management of the site will determine which plant species dominate the stand in a given year and over time. Knowing the major plant species in a grassland enables the manager to properly manage that grassland for pasture or hay.
The following fact sheets and web links provide an introduction for identifying the major plant species that grow in pastures and hay fields in West Virginia.
Just the basics
Grow your knowledge
- Taylor forage fertilization based on harvested forage yield.
- Identification guide to 100 native forage grasses in the southern United States.Many of these native grasses are found in West Virginia. A management guide for producing alfalfa hay and haylage.
- Annual Lespedeza culture and use. This is an older USDA bulletin that provides basic information not readily available elsewhere.
- Using crimson clover as a cover crop to produce nitrogen for corn.
Master the subject
- Orchardgrass management and productivity in the Northeast.
- Timothy management and productivity in the Northeast.
- Smooth bromegrass management and productivity in the Northeast.
- Reed canarygrass management and productivity in the Northeast.
- Quackgrass life history related to weed control.
- Large and small crabgrass life history related to weed control.
- Yellow and giant foxtail life history related to weed control.
- Horse nettle life history related to weed control.