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Commodities: Field Crops: Forages

Forage Species and Varieties Recommended for Use in Georgia

Dr. Dennis Hancock,
Forage Extension Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences Dept.

More than 50 forage species can be grown in Georgia. This count includes a wide variety of both annual (live for one season) and perennial (live for multiple seasons) grasses and legumes. This web page lists those species that are sometimes used or inquired about in Georgia. However, only a few of these species will be appropriate to include in a forage system on any given farm. Those species that are NOT recommended for use in Georgia are indicated with italic font.

In addition to using recommended species, it is very important to use recommended varieties. On the individual species' webpage, there is a list of recommended varieties for that species. These recommendations are based on yield, persistence, and (when possible) animal performance trials. Typically, these trials have been performed on the UGA's Agricultural Experiment Station's farms where conditions can be tightly controlled and replicated. In many cases, these recommended species/varieties have been further tested on cooperating producers' farms.






Cool Season Annual
  • Arrowleaf Clover (html)
  • Ball Clover (html)
  • Berseem Clover (html)
  • Crimson Clover (html)
  • Red Clover (html)*
  • Rose Clover (html)
  • Subterranean Clover (html)
  • Vetch (html)
  • Winter Pea (html)
  • Minor Cool Season Annuals (html)
Cool Season Perennial
  • Tall Fescue (html)
  • Minor Species
Warm Season Annuals
  • Annual Lespedeza (html)
  • Forage Soybeans (html)
  • Minor Warm Season Annuals (html)
Warm Season Perennials
  • Bahiagrass (html | pdf)
  • Bermudagrass (html | pdf)
  • Dallisgrass (html | pdf)
  • Johnsongrass (html)
  • Native Warm Season Perennials
    • Big Bluestem (html)
    • Eastern Gamagrass (html)
    • Indiangrass (html)
    • Little Bluestem (html)
    • Switchgrass (html)


* Red clover is not an annual, but sometimes it is grown as an annual species.

Related Factsheets

  • Grazing Cool Season Annual Grasses (html)
  • Establishment of Cool Season Annual Grasses (html)
  • Establishment of Cool Season Annual Legumes (html | pdf)
  • Seeding Methods for Small-Seeded Legumes (html | pdf)
  • Quantity of Nitrogen Fixed (html | pdf)
  • Planting Warm Season Annual Grasses (html |pdf)
  • Fertilization of Warm Season Annual Grasses (html)
  • Pest Management for Warm Season Annual Grasses (html)
  • Establishing and Managing Native Warm Season Perennial Grasses (html | pdf)

Links to Additional Information on These and Other Species

Forages of Texas - This is one of the best websites on southern forage species. It is a great resource that describes most forage species that could be utilized in Georgia, plus a few that are better in Texas.

USDA Plants Database - This site contains a very extensive database on all plant species in the USA (at least those that have been described). It uses scientific names and common names as searchable key words. However, sometimes the common name in Georgia is not so common as to register with this database.

Forage Information Systems: Species Page - Oregon State University has an outstanding website on forages from all over the country.