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Low Input

Drought Tolerant

Heat Tolerant

Soil Adaptability

Few Diseases or Pests

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Teff grass (Eragrostis Teff) is a new type of grass being introduced around the world for hay production. Some varieties are perennial, but the most interest is in growing Teff hay using the short-lived annual varieties as a "catch" or "rescue" crop - which is something that can grow in a hurry and use up nutrients left over from a previous crop that failed. Especially useful in extending the life of a stand of alfalfa that may have been damaged by worms or winter-kill until it can be replanted later in the season.


Originally from the highlands of Ethiopia, there are different varieties grown for grain or for hay. (Lovegrass)


> Requires frost free growing season. Can't tolerate frost

> Rapid seed germination and seedling development

> Fine stemmed bunch grass which produces a large crown with numerous tillers.

> Very small seed (smaller than timothy) 1.2 million seeds per lb.

> Shallow, massive, fibrous root system - can take advantage of light rains.


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> Interim hay crop between alfalfa stands

> Rotational crop for alfalfa growers

> Suitable for double cropping

> Not suitable for grazing - too shallow of a root - horses will pull it up (Some studies say Teff can be grazed with caution - livestock may pull the plants out of the ground due to the shallow root system)


> Firm seedbed (culti-pack twice. The firmer the better) - shallow planting depth 1/8 - 1/4 inch deep.

> Soil temp 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

> Amount of water during growing season dictates the amount of forage produced. More water = more forage.

> Grain drill - rate of 8-10# coated per acre. Brillion Seeder 12–1/2 lbs/acre. Broadcast then roll.

> Recommended cutting at approx 30-40 day intervals -best time when going into boot stage.

> Harvest height 3-4 feet - leave 3-4" stubble

> Yields 2-6 tons/acre in a 2-3 cut system in a 90-day growing season - with adequate water and temperatures

> Forage quality similar to Timothy.

> Protein content of Teff hay - 12-20% depending on maturity at cutting (15%-20% common when cut at boot stage)

> In Klamath Falls, Oregon planted end of May, up within a few days, a warm June and regular irrigation resulted in a heavy first cutting at the end of July. 3 tons /acre 13-14% protein level. After cutting, fertilized with Ammonium Sulfate and irrigated again. 2nd cutting taken 6 weeks later produced 3 ton/acre again.


Is Teff Hay Safe for Horses that are Intolerant of High-Sugar Forage? by Kathryn Watts, BS.

Teff: A New Warm-Season Annual Grass for Oregon Steve Norberg, Richard J. Roseberg, Brian Charlton, Clinton C. Shock from Oregon State University.

Teff Grass: A New Alternative by Dr. Don Miller, hosted by UC Davis.

2014 Summer Annual Grass Report by G.L. Olson, S.R. Smith, and G.D. Lacefield, Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky.