University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)

Warm-season grasses

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual that is easy to establish. Stands of crabgrass can last almost indefinitely if managed to encourage volunteer reseeding. Although often considered a weed, crabgrass is a high-quality forage that can produce 6,000 to 10,000 lb/acre of dry matter annually. The majority of the dry matter is produced from mid-June to August. Crabgrass is adapted statewide and tolerates poorly drained soils well but is not cold hardy. It responds well to split applications of nitrogen at establishment and then again after the first grazing.


Yield distributionYield distribution of crabgrass in Missouri.

CrabgrassCrabgrass in early spring

Seed head
Seed head

Collar region
Collar region


M181 Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage | University of Missouri Extension

Order publications online at or call toll-free 800-292-0969.

University of Missouri Extension - print indicia