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Forage Species

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. 

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