Grasses form the foundation of forage-livestock systems around the world because they can be consumed and converted by animals into useful products. Consumption assumes the grass is harvested directly through grazing, or by machine for greenchop, silage, or hay. Knowing when and how to harvest for optimal forage quantity and quality while safeguarding the persistence of stands requires an understanding of grass growth and regrowth mechanisms.

Voisin (1959) aptly stated that "A pasture plant must be capable of growing again after it has been cut either by the tooth of an animal or by the blade of a mower." Grass has the capacity of regrowing because it has a growing point that remains low and mechanisms for tillering - production of new shoots (daughter plants).

This teaching aid presents the basic concepts of grass growth and regrowth along with management implications for forage-livestock enterprises. The goal is to increase the understanding of regrowth mechanisms of grasses and thereby improve the management and profitability of croplands, pasturelands, and rangelands. To gain a complete understanding of grass growth and regrowth, read the basic information so that wise management decisions can be made for all grass species, purposes, and circumstances.

Guides for farmers/ranchers, instructors, and students provide suggestions for how to use this site most effectively.

A Grass Checklist

Optimizing Grazing