Check the Condition of Recovering Forage Stands

March 10, 2011

By Stephen K. Barnhart, Department of Agronomy

Most forage crops are planted and managed as perennial crops. With careful selection, grass and legume species and varieties can be planted that are capable of surviving normal Iowa winters. Even with good fertility and fall harvest or grazing management, some plants, and even entire stands, can be damaged during the winter. 

Late-winter and early-spring is a good time to evaluate existing hay and pasture stands for winter injury.

A previous ICM News article, Evaluating Hay & Pasture Stands for Winter Injury, discusses in more detail some assessment methods that you can use.

Splitting taproots to evaluate general health of stand.



Stephen K. Barnhart is the ISU Extension forage agronomist. He can be contacts by phone at 515-24-7835 or by e-mail at


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