Crested Wheatgrass

(Agropyron Cristatum & desertorum sibiricum)


Two of theCrested Wheatgrasses have been grouped together. They are long-lived, cool-season bunchgrasses. In the western United States their value in providing palatable, early season forage from plantings following big sagebrush removal has long been recognized. Thousands of acres of near worthless rangeland have thus been seeded. Crested Wheatgrass is best adapted to fine and medium textured soils. Stands do not do well on sandy soils. It does require a good supply of winter and early-spring moisture for best results.

Seeds of these species are similar and when of commercial quality, are easily planted through an ordinary drill. Though Crested Wheatgrass is usually planted singly following sage plowing, it would be desirable to include a percentage of Western Wheatgrass to lessen the erosion hazard in gullies and on hillsides. Planting depth will vary by soil type from 0.6 to 2.5 cm (¼ to 1 in.). Planting should take place during the two months with the most favorable moisture. It can be planted in either spring or fall.


3.4 to 5.6 kg PLS/hectare

3 to 5 lbs. PLS/acre



155,000 to 175,000 per lb. (0.46 kg)





Ephraim is a higher yielding improvement of the Fairway variety.



Fairway is shorter, denser, finer stemmed and less productive than other varieties. It is best suited to dryland lawns and general-purpose turf.



Hycrest has the same basic characteristics of the Nordan variety, but with higher yields. In performance trials conducted on several range sites, Hycrest established better stands, produced significantly more forage, has better emergence from deep plantings and subsequent seedling vigor than Nordan for Fairway. It is particularly obvious when it is established on marginal sites receiving 10 in. or less of annual precipitation.



Nordan was released in 1953 by the Northern Great Plains Research Center, Agriculture Research Station, Nordan, North Dakota. The original seed source was from an introduction out of Asia.

Nordan is the "old reliable" when it comes to re-vegetating acreages of big sagebrush range in the western states. It is still widely used and respected for its value in stabilizing soils and furnishing good spring feed to livestock. It has the ability to persist in years of lean moisture, and although an introduction, it compares favorable with the natives.

Nordan is more uniform and erect than common strains. It has good seedling vigor, and forage yield is as good as or better than common crested Wheatgrass.


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