Orchardgrass is a perennial, cool-season bunchgrass best suited for fertile, light to medium soils with good drainage. It can persist on moderately poor drained soils. Orchardgrass has good winter hardiness, tolerance to shade and moderate tolerance to drought. It is an excellent choice for pasture, hay, greenchop or silage and is well adapted to grow with legumes such as clover and alfalfa. There is typically a 10 to 20 day spread in heading date between early and late maturing varieties. Use a later heading variety as a companion to alfalfa.


Orchardgrass is very responsive to fertilizer and aftermath production can be excellent with proper fertility and split N applications. For optimum first harvest yield and quality, orchardgrass should be harvested in early-mid boot stage at a cutting height of 3 to 4 inches so it can recover quickly and persistence can be maintained. For grazing, excellent grazing management is required to maintain persistence and productivity. Graze to 3 to 4 inches and rest 28 days in between rotations. Orchardgrass does not persist well under continuous grazing. It is not a good candidate to pair with perennial ryegrass since their management protocols are so different.


Orchardgrass can be planted either in early spring or late summer depending on the area of the country being grown. Seeding depth is generally 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a firm seed bed. Rolling or using a cultipacker after seeding ensures even germination and emergence.

  • Selected for endurance & durability for the South
  • Dual purpose, great grazing tolerance with exceptional hay yield
  • Excellent northern movement
  • A healthy overall performer

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

  • Our newest orchardgrass
  • Outperforms everything else in our lineup
  • Best fall production of the orchardgrass
  • Persists well with super yield and quality
  • Tremendous eye appeal
  • Erect-growing plant
  • Late maturity

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

  • Late maturing; similar in maturity to Niva
  • Winter hardy due to its German breeding
  • Dense
  • Good grazing variety
  • Top yielder in forage trials
  • Medium to late heading coincides well with alfalfa maturity

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

KF OG Blend South
  • Blend of varieties selected for the south
  • Selected for its ability to perform well in heat and drought
  • A blend of Intensiv and Athos for quality, yield and persistence
  • Excellent persistence under drought conditions
  • Late maturity
  • Good density

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

  • Late heading
  • Good drought tolerance
  • Excellent yields
  • Very dense
  • Excellent in grazing trials
  • Good fall growth

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

  • Medium to late heading
  • Good Persistence
  • Good winter hardiness
  • top yielder in forage trials
  • Medium to late heading coincides well with alfalfa maturity

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

KF OG Blend North
  • A premium blend of European varieties selected for the north
  • Selected for winter hardiness and top performance in the northern Midwest
  • Good yields
  • Later heading
  • Great disease resistance

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4

Orchardgrass Maturity Palatability Digestibility Winter Hardiness Grazing Suitability
Athos Late 9 9 9 10
Endurance Mid 8 8 10 10
Echelon Late 9 10 10 10
Husar Late 8 9 9 9
Niva Late 8 8 9 9
OG Blend South Late 9 9 7 10
OG Blend North Late 9 10 10 10

Ratings values only comparable for products within this chart
1 = least desirable   10 = most desirable

Orchardgrass Image