CRP Colorado plains mix for sandy soils

“The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands is part of the CRP program, a federally funded voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation benefits.” USDA Farm Service Agency

How much is an acre of land?

Calculations for seed coverage

Weld County Local Retailer : Buffalo Brand Seed

CRP Grass seed contents

Total lbs per Acre | Acreage to cover: 6

2.40 PLS lbs | Andropogon halliiSAND BLUESTEM, CHET is SUB FOR ELIDA

Livestock: Sand bluestem is a good to excellent forage due to its palatability and high yield. Under continued heavy grazing pressure it will die out and be replaced by other less desirable plants. It is an important component of many native hay meadows. The nutritive value of sand bluestem rises and falls with the growing season. It is high in crude protein and palatability until just prior to seedhead formation. After seedheads are formed the nutritive value and palatability decreases significantly.

Wildlife: Sand bluestem is good to excellent forage for all browsing wildlife species. Upland birds eat the seeds. Because it frequently grows in large clumps and retains an upright vegetative structure throughout the winter it makes an excellent nesting habitat for many upland birds and small mammals

Management: No harvest of bluestem during the establishment season should be allowed. During the second growing season, harvesting by controlled pasturing or haying is possible on good stands. The first harvest should not commence until the bluestem is 20 inches tall. It should be grazed (5 days maximum duration) or cut no lower than 8 inches and then protected from use until 20 inches in height is reached again. No cropping should occur below 8 inches or within 1 month of anticipated frosts. After a killing frost, the area may be grazed to 8 inches, but forage quality is greatly reduced and supplementation is recommended for growing animals.


Forage:Indiangrass is highly palatable to all classes of livestock and is suitable for both grazing and hay when properly managed (Leithead et al. 1971).

Wildlife: The bunch type growth and basal leaves provide ground coverand nesting areas for gamebirds and songbirds ( Ohlenbuseh et al. 1983,George 1978, Robel et al. 1970). White-tailed deer utilize the tall grass for cover throughout most of the year (Pierce and Flinn 2013). Native bees gather nesting materials from this plant.

Grazing: Indiangrass is sensitive to overgrazing and will decrease under excessive grazing pressure (Weaver 1968). Begin grazing when the grass is 12 to 18 inches tall (Henning 1993). Do not graze the foliage lower than 8 inches. Use rotational grazing and proper livestock stocking rates to maintain stand productivity. Contact your local USDA NRCS field office for more information on rotational grazing and developing prescribed grazing plans.

Hay production: Indiangrass begins growth in mid spring. In a three-year study in west-central Texas, ‘Lometa’ Indiangrassremained in a vegetative stage (April to June) longer than most other warm season perennial grass entries (switchgrass, big bluestem, eastern gamagrass (Tripsacumdactyloides), and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula). Mean crude protein and digestibility for the cultivar ‘Lometa’ averaged 11% and 73% at the vegetative stage, 8% and 63% at stem elongation, 7% and 53% at flower/seed set and 5% and 53% after frost (Ziehr et al. 2014).

0.50 PLS lbs | Panicum virgatum SWITCHGRASS, BLACKWELL

Livestock: Switchgrass is noted for its heavy growth during late spring and early summer. It provides good warm-season pasture and high quality hay for livestock.

Grazing: ManagementTo control weeds during establishment, mow switchgrass to a height of 4 inches in May or 6 inches in June or July. Grazing is generally not recommended the first year, but a vigorous stand can be grazed late in the year if grazing periods are short with at least 30 days of rest provided between grazings. Switchgrass is the earliest maturing of the common native warm-season grasses and it is ready to graze in early summer.

Under continuous grazing management, begin grazing switchgrass after it has reached a height of 14 to 16 inches, and stop when plants are grazed to within 4 inches of the ground during late spring, 8 inches in early summer, and 12 inches in late summer. A rest before frost is needed to allow plants to store carbohydrates in the stem bases andcrown. Plants may be grazed to a height of 6 to 8 inches after frost. The winter stubble is needed to provide insulation.

0.70 PLS lbs | Calamovilfa longifolia PRAIRIE SANDREED, GOSHEN

Prairie sandreed provides fair forage for grazing and browsing wildlife in early spring and summer. The plant becomes more important in late fall and winter as the plant cures well on the stem and provides upright and accessible forage. Seed is used by songbirds and small rodents.

Grazing/rangeland/hayland: Prairie sandreed is a native, sod forming, warm season grass commonly found on sandy rangeland sites throughout the Central and Northern Plains and Great Lakes Region. This grass is recognized as a key species in grazing programs because of its abundance, yield potential and distribution of herbage production during the growing season. Prairie sandreed begins growth earlier in the spring than most warm season perennial grasses, thus its herbage is available for livestock grazing. The forage value is considered fair to good for cattle and horses, and fair value for sheep during its first two months of growth, and after it cures on the stem for fall and winter grazing. Crude protein content and available carbohydrates are inversely related in this plants constitution. Crude protein drops from 16 percent in May to 4 percent in November while available carbohydrates increase from 45 percent in May to 55 percent in November (Craig, 2002). Prairie sandreed is usually considered a decreaser with grazing pressure, but will initially increase under heavy grazing use, especially if growing within a big bluestem/sand bluestem plant community. Prairie sandreed generally is seeded as a component of a native mix for range seeding on sandy sites.

0.80 PLS lbs | Pascopyrum smithii WESTERN WHEATGRASS, BARTON

Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Love, western wheatgrass, isperhaps one of the best known and most commonly used native grasses. It is a long-lived, cool season species that has coarse blue- green leaves with prominent veins. Because of this bluish appearance it has sometimes been called bluestem wheatgrass or bluejoint.

5.4 Total PLS lbs per Acre

The CRP mix

PLS Lbs per ACRE
5 Acres

10.0 Agropyron cristatum CRESTED WHEATGRASS, EPHRAIM

Grazing/rangeland/hayland: Crested wheatgrass is a perennial, introduced grass commonly seeded in the arid sections of the western United States. Crested wheatgrass is commonly recommended for forage production. It is palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife. It is a preferred feed for cattle, sheep, horses, and elk in spring and also in the fall, if additional growth occurs. It is considered a desirable feed for deer and antelope in spring and fall, if additional growth occurs. It is not considered a desirable feed for cattle, sheep, horses, deer, antelope, and elk in the summer. In spring, the protein levels can be as high as 18 percent and decrease to about 4 percent as it matures. Digestible carbohydrates remain high throughout the active growth period.

It is commonly utilized for winter forage by cattle and horses, but protein supplements are required to ensure good animal health. It is noted for its ability to withstand very heavy grazing pressure (65-70 percent utilization), once stands are established. Crested wheatgrass is a good forage producer in the areas where best adapted. Crested wheatgrass is generally not recommended above 12-14 inches of precipitation, because better, alternative forage species are available. Crested wheatgrass stands generally produce from 1.5 to 2 times more than native grass stands, generally in the bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) ecosystems. The best forage types, in order, are Siberian, desert, and Fairway.

15.4 Total PLS lbs per Acre

Flower additions:

Annual Sunflower seeds

western wildflower mix

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.