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Hay and feed articles

Common Arkansas Hay Varieties

Smooth Brome

Smooth brome does well in average growing conditions. Smooth brome is a tall, soft leafy-stemmed grass that horses find very palatable. It is reasonably easy to cure and makes dark brown-green hay.

Orchard Grass

Orchard grass makes very palatable soft hay that is a bright green in color. It is a leafy plant with few stems. It is does well in the moister areas and is generally used as pasture grass. It combines well with alfalfa and is often grown in a mixture.

Meadow Brome

Meadow Brome is generally used as a pasture grass as it has many basal leaves, few stems and good re-growth capabilities. However, it is often used as a hay grass as it combines well with alfalfa, not being as aggressive as smooth brome. Meadow brome cures into soft medium green leafy hay that horses find very palatable.

Intermediate Wheatgrass

Intermediate wheat grass is a tall growing forage with medium coarse leafy stems. It cures into medium green, dust free hay. It is palatable to horses and when harvested at later maturity PMU operators favor it.


Timothy has long been a favorite hay for horses. It is easily cured into bright lime-green colored hay that is dust free. Itís nutrient content is well suited as a mature horse diet. Stems and leaves are large but soft. Horses find the hay very palatable.

Crested Wheatgrass

Crested Wheatgrass is a fine stemmed, leafy grass. It is easily cured into medium green colored hay that is dust free. When harvested in early head it is comparable in quality to other grass hays. Harvested after heading the quality declines and makes it a hay favored by PMU (Pregnant Mares Urine) operators. Horses like crested wheatgrass but if harvested at late maturity the stems tend to be stiff and the hay is less palatable.


Alfalfa does well in average growing conditions. Alfalfa is very palatable and horses love it. It is reasonable easy to cure and makes a rich dark green colored hay.

Alfalfa is generally higher in nutrients and energy than grass hay which makes it an ideal choice for horse owners with mares in late gestation, lactation, or growing foals. However, horses with lower nutritional needs may get fat on alfalfa and grass hay may be a better choice.

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