Big Bluestem

Planting Rate 5 to 8 PLS lbs/acre
Plant Height 3 to 6 ft. tall
Seed Count 130,000 per lb


Big Bluestem is a warm season, bunch sod-former. It is a tall grass that is long-lived.

KAW was developed in Kansas. It is a late season cultivar recommended for use from central Nebraska and south through Oklahoma. It has shown superior leafiness and general vigor. It equals or surpasses common Big Bluestem in disease resistance.


PAWNEE is moderately long with dark green leaves and tall flowering stalks. The stalks are forked with green to purplish florescence. They have considerable variation in the amount of pubescence in seed heads. Pawnee produces good forage yield in Nebraska. In fact, it is superior to native strains originating further North and West. Seed maturity is late, approaching frost dates in southwestern Nebraska. Seed source is Pawnee County, Nebraska.

ROUNDTREE is mainly used in pastures for livestock. It has mid to late summer rapid growth which makes it an ideal choice for grazing during hot weather when cool season grasses are slow growing.

AREA OF ADAPTATION: This grass is native to most areas east of the Rocky Mountains. It is the primary species found in the tallgrass prairie of the Midwest. It thrives on deep fertile silt and clay loam soils of lowlands, draws, and ravines in the 20 to 30 inch MAP zones. It is more productive in areas with good drainage.

PLANTING: For best results plant with grass drills. Planting depth should be 1/4 to 1 inch deep in fine to moderately coarse soils. Drill 1 1/2 inches deep in sands on prepacked seedbeds. Plant 5 to 8 lbs. PLS per acre for minimal satisfactory rangeland stands. Plant seed in March-April in the Southern Great Plains and in April-May in the Central and Northern Great Plains. Dormant seedings after November 1st have proven very successful.

MANAGEMENT: Big Bluestem is used for pasture, hay, waterways, and stabilizing disturbed areas. It is highly palatable to cattle from late spring until fall, with fair winter palatability. Continuous grazing of ranges in good condition is fine. Deferred rotation is recommended for pastures in poor condition.

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