Grass Seed Guide

Best Grass Seed For Hay

When it comes to the best grass seed for hay, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on your regional climate and soil conditions, different types of grasses may be better suited for your specific needs.

Whether you’re looking to create a large hay supply for a small farm or simply need a few smaller bales for backyard livestock, it’s important to select the right type of grass seed in order to maximize the nutritional value.

Aside from providing healthy fodder, the right grass seed can also help improve soil fertility, so it’s important to consider the other long-term benefits that come with investing in quality hay.

From traditional cool-season grasses such as tall fescue and ryegrass to warm-season species such as Bermuda and switchgrass, this blog post will explore all the available options so you can make an informed buying decision when it comes to the best grass seed for hay.

Best Grass Seed For Hay

If you’re looking for the best grass seed for hay, then you’ll want to find a variety with a high protein content (15 to 20 percent) that can quickly produce a large tonnage of hay.

You should also look for good germination rates and a seed that’s free from weed seeds. Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue are generally the two top varieties for hay production, as they are both short-growing and produce a higher yield in a shorter amount of time.

To ensure optimal quality, it’s important to purchase your grass seed from a reputable supplier, who will guarantee the purity and quality of the seed.

Here are the 5 best grass seeds for hay in our opinion:

Red Fescue

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Red Fescue is a cool season grass that thrives in the Pacific Northwest due to its deep root system and ability to survive in moist and well-drained soil.

This grass seed not only withstands periods of drought, but offers excellent hay quality. Its high protein content makes it a great choice for grazing and for use as a hay crop.

In fact, Red Fescue is one of the most widely used types of grass seeds for hay in the Pacific Northwest region. This unique grass seed provides reliable nutrition for livestock, and its deep root system ensures increased durability and a longer recovery time when grazed.

Perennial Ryegrass

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Perennial Ryegrass is a great choice for hay production due to its ability to excel when conditions are optimal yet remain resilient in more challenging environments.

It prefers full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. The key to growing this cool season grass successfully is to ensure that the soil remains moist but not wet.

Although Perennial Ryegrass can survive dry spells, it is important to provide enough moisture during the growing season; otherwise it will not thrive.

This makes it an excellent choice for hay, as it is able to take advantage of favorable conditions while surviving without significant damage during unfavorable ones.

Timothy Grass

If Timothy Grass is what you’re looking for to produce some high quality hay, then you’re in luck!

This warm season perennial grows up to five feet high and produces lots of stems per plant. It does best in full sun and is more suitable for hot climates due to its preference for dryer conditions than many other types of grass seeds.

However, it doesn’t produce many seeds, so if your goal is to harvest those, then you may want to consider selecting another variety instead.

For those looking to make hay though, Timothy Grass is an excellent option, providing the highest quality hay with an abundance of tall, thick stems.

Orchard Grass

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Orchard Grass is a magnificent warm season perennial that thrives in full sun and well-drained soils. It is best to sow Orchard Grass in the early spring when there is still some moisture in the soil from winter yet before the onset of the hot summer months with their accompanying rain storms, which can negatively affect growth.

In comparison to Timothy Grass, Orchard Grass features more narrow leaves, plus remains green throughout the year even as Timothy Grass turns brown due to less sunlight during winter. Planting Orchard Grass in your lawn or garden can help lend texture, color, and vitality to your outdoor space all year long!

Fescue Mix

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Fescue Mix is a uniquely beneficial grass seed blend that combines red fescue and perennial ryegrass.

Not only does this mix offer the durability and deep root system of red fescue, allowing it to survive in dry conditions, but also the lush growth potential of perennial ryegrass, making it an excellent option for hay production.

This combination offers the best of both worlds, creating an ideal blend for farmers who depend on their hay for livestock feed, bedding, or other farming needs.


What is the best grass to grow for cattle?

Bermuda grass is an ideal choice for cattle grazing as it is one of the most resilient and hardy warm season grasses. With its deep root system, the grass can withstand long periods of drought, while still providing plenty of nutrition with its substantial top growth.

It also has the added benefit of being resistant to insects and disease, meaning you don’t have to worry about regularly spraying pesticides or fungicides in order to keep your cattle healthy.

This type of grass is able to be cut down quite low compared to other varieties, allowing you to graze your cattle without completely depleting pastures.

Finally, Bermuda grows back quickly after it has been grazed off, making it easy to rotate your animals through different pastures, ensuring they get enough nutrition while reducing the chances of having one area over grazed.

Is hay a specific type of grass?

While hay and grass may appear to be similar on the surface, there are a few stark differences between these two forms of vegetation. The most important distinction is when each is harvested.

Hay is typically cut when it has dried out, while grass is usually harvested while still in its green state. This difference in harvesting time results in one of the other main distinguishing factors between hay and grass – moisture content.

Hay contains less moisture than grass due to its dryness, which means it has a higher nutrient value and can be kept for longer periods of time without spoiling.

This makes hay a much more efficient way of storing nutritional content to be used later on.

What grass is bad for cows?

Despite some grasses being good for cows, others are not suitable due to their high levels of fiber. This is particularly true in the case of legumes such as alfalfa, clover, and lespedeza which contain a large amount of protein and fiber.

As such, the cow must expend more energy to digest these plants, releasing more gas that can make the cow uncomfortable, leading to bloating.

Furthermore, some grasses contain nitrates and other chemicals which, if consumed in excess, can be poisonous to cows. Hence, it is important to be aware of weeds such as foxtail or cheatgrass which also contain these dangerous substances and should never be consumed by cows.

All in all, the grass needs to be suited to the specific needs of the cow in order to ensure its health and wellbeing.

What is the fastest growing grass for hay?

Bermudagrass is one of the fastest-growing grasses and can achieve up to three inches of growth per week in ideal conditions. But if those conditions are not available, tall fescue can be an excellent alternative due to its deep root system and ability to withstand drought and heat.

Orchardgrass is another option that is capable of growing quickly in many different climates, however it’s important to keep a close eye on the growth of whichever type of grass you select and make sure to harvest the hay at the most opportune moment to guarantee maximum nutrition for any animals you may be feeding.