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Big Bluestem

Native warm-season grasses are bunch grasses indigenous to North America that actively grow during the warm months of the year, April through September. These native forages are a great option for those wanting to graze livestock and provide habitats for wildlife. With droughts seemingly becoming more and more frequent, producers need forages that are adapted to these situations like the native warm-season grasses, which have deep root system and water holding capabilities.

This five-chapter publication includes information on the following:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Species Selection and Establishment Planning
  • Chapter 3: Planting
  • Chapter 4: Follow-Up During the Seedling Year
  • Chapter 5: Case Histories

This publication also includes an appendix that includes photos and identification tips that assist with seedling identification.

Download a PDF of Establishing Native Grass Forages in the Southeast


This publication is a collaborative effort among professionals from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Georgia.

  • Landon Marks, Extension Regional Agent, Alabama Cooperative Extension System – Auburn University
  • Leanne Dillard, Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Alabama Cooperative Extension System – Auburn University
  • Patrick D. Keyser, Professor and Director, Center for Native Grasslands Management, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Tennessee
  • Dennis W. Hancock, Professor and Extension Forage Agronomist, University of Georgia


Image by: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

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