How to identify forage plants in your pasture or hayfield

It is important to identify the plants growing in your pasture and hayfield. This is because management of the plants, either to nurture them or get rid of them, is specific to the type of forage or weed. This article provides resources for forage ID. For weed ID, see Fewer weeds equals more quality forage.

Online resources can be helpful in identifying plants but be careful which sites you visit. Many of the plant images online are mislabeled.

Here are some good links for identifying forage. Some of the information on plant structures can also be used for identifying weeds.

You may also bring plants into your local Extension office for identification. Make sure you ask for the faculty in charge of commercial forage production for pastures and hay fields.

You may also email photos of plants. Seed heads are the best way to ID forage in dried samples. Stalks and leaves are also helpful. Please try to present one type of forage per photograph and use a contrasting background. For fresh forages, try to include pictures of all plant parts in separate photos.

Previously titled
Identifying forages in pasture and hay

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