Pasture grasses that do well in Leavenworth county are:
No single species is clearly superior in annual dry-matter yield all the time.
Smooth Brome will usually produce well, and appears to be the most generally suitable as a perennial, cool-season forage crop, for use under dryland conditions in eastern Kansas. But it does require, about 90 pounds of actual Nitrogen per acre each year..
Tall Fescue may be one of the most productive grasses in this area. It appears to have a place on heavy-textured soils where there are infiltration & permeability problems. But some people do not like Fescue because of problems affecting animal extremities, such as Fescue Foot, poor circulation problems and hair coat, caused by the Fescue Endophyte, a fungus that lives in the fescue plant stems & seeds, and affects beef & horses. New varieties of fescue have been developed with a "novel" endophyte. The novel endophyte does not produce the problems normally associated with fescue. Fescue can utilize large amounts of fertilizer but not as much as brome.
Orchardgrass is not the most productive species but it will produce good quality forage. It will become rather bunchy and will not do well in a hot, dry summer. It seems to be slightly out of its element as a dryland forage crop without irrigation in this area of Kansas.
Reeds Canarygrass is superior to other grasses on better- than- average sites that have plenty of water available, such as wet areas of the field. This is a special- use species for use on waterways & other sites where moisture problems tend to be those of excess rather than deficiency.
Bluegrass grows here but it tends to produce early in the year, and then disappear when the weather gets hot & dry. Tonnage of bluegrass produced is not as high as other grasses in this area.
Timothy used to be grown here, back in the days of horses but it does not stand our hot, dry summers very well so tends to die out if not irrigated.