Switchgrass, a tough ornamental grass that stands up to a variety of harsh conditions, adds both texture and color to a garden. Most switchgrass research has been centered in the prairie states of the Midwestern United States and the prairie provinces of Canada. Switchgrass, ‘Cave-In-Rock’ A rhizomatous, upland warm season bunchgrass; a good biomass producer; a favorite for reclamation and wildlife. This involves using a tractor with a mowing attachment to cut down the switchgrass, and then using a towed or self-propelled baler to gather it into bales. Even though that Northern MI bedding creation wasn't appropriately matched to the conditions, there were still very good reasons to use switchgrass plantings on the property. It will spread slowly over time and make stunning vertical accents wherever it is planted. Switchgrass is an excellent crop for bioenergy fuel, and although it is toxic to horses, sheep, and goats, cattle have no difficulty in processing this abundant plant. General Product Information: Cave-n-Rock switchgrass is a perennial, warm season native grass that grows an average of 3-5 feet tall, but in some regions, can reach up to 6 feet tall at maturity. If cut for hay, switchgrass is very palatable and nutritious before or just as seedheads appear. ND-Switchgrass Biomass Yields in the Northern Great Plains (PAVI2) ND-Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop (PAVI2) NE-Developing Switchgrass Into a Biomass Fuel Crop (PAVI2) NE-Switchgrass for Grazing and Hay (PAVI2) OH-Ohio State University Seed Biology (PAVI2) OK-Noble Foundation Plant Image Gallery (PAVI2) OK-Oklahoma Forages (PAVI2) It is highly adaptable to a wide range of soils and growing conditions. Switchgrass is a great way to improve the environment, Reinbott said. This warm-season grass blooms in mid- to late- summer. But as with grazing, as plants become mature and stemmy, switchgrass hay becomes less desirable and may need to be ground in order to be used … In addition to switchgrass, these fibers include other grasses, wood from tree plantations, residue from logging operations, and the leftovers after the harvesting of wheat and corn. Once established, switchgrass plantings are relatively maintenance free but such herbicides such as 2-4D can be used for broadleaf control in your switchgrass planting. Depending on the variety and cultivar, some have foliage that changes color in the fall. Switchgrass is often used as hay for cattle as they find it nutritious and palatable. Alfalfa can be used whenever herbivores need a high quality diet for growth, stamina, strength, or production of meat, milk, wool, and eggs. Alfalfa was first successfully grown in the southwest U.S. during the mid 1850's and is now most intensively grown in many states. It is grown over a wide range of temperate and subtropical environments. It makes excellent hay for weaning calves or growing young stock. Roger Samson of McGill University has extensively written on the Canadian government's proposal to replant 35-million acres of tall grass prairie, mostly to switchgrass to be used for ethanol production. Since producing enough switchgrass to usefully refine involves large fields of the plant, the harvest must be done with farm equipment. The switchgrass must be mowed down and then baled. Switchgrass is an attractive biofuel feedstock because it can grow on marginal lands of little agricultural value. It is often used by farmers for soil conservation, forage production as animal feed, game cover and as an ornamental grass. The switchgrass actually had the opposite outcome from what the landowner had originally intended, but those results were easy to reverse with a little additional work. 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