Title: Forage Identification Tool

Project Manager: Ian McGregor, Klamath County

Collaborating Team Members:

  • Leticia Henderson, Baker & Union Counties
  • Scott Duggan, Central Oregon
  • Gordon Jones, Jackson & Josephine Counties
  • Amy Derby, Wheeler County
  • David Hannaway, Corvallis
  • Pete Schreder, Wallowa County
  • Mylen Bohle, Central Oregon
  • Ricardo Mata-Gonzalez, Corvallis
  • Cassie Bouska, Coos & Curry Counties


Producers and land owners frequently approach county extension offices with questions regarding forage identification. These inquiries occur most frequently in the spring, when most forages are still in a vegetative development stage. Many of our current forage identification tools can be difficult to use for forages in their vegetative stage, may require outdated technology, and can consume a lot of time to identify the correct forage species. For this project, we propose to develop a tool that can be used quickly and easily in the field or office to identify forages in any development stage. This tool will define and describe the key morphological characteristics that are used to identify forages, including inflorescence, culm, leaves, collar, ligules, auricles, vernation, stolons, rhizomes, etc. To assist with identification, the forage species included in this tool will be organized by characteristics, rather than alphabetically. This will enable those using the tool to identify a structural feature of a forage, and quickly move to the section of the book that contains forages with that characteristic, saving time in making a correct identification. 

This forage identification tool will include high-quality photos of the included species, as well as concise descriptions of their key morphological characteristics to quickly confirm proposed identifications. We anticipate starting with a group of commonly encountered species and add species over time to capture all of the key forage species in Oregon.