Canada Wildrye – A Bunchgrass That’s Great for Erosion Control

Elymus canadensisbetter known as Canada wildrye or Canadian wildrye, is a cool-season perennial bunchgrass found throughout most of the US. It is especially common in plains areas, though it can also be found in woodlands, dunes, and savannas. In addition to thriving in a variety of soil types, it’s also shade tolerant. 

Canada wildrye can grow between 2.5 to 6 feet tall. When fully grown, it features thick seed heads with long, thin bristles. It can range from green to gold in color. Canada wildrye provides a number of benefits to native wildlife. Some animals use it for foraging. Others utilize it for nesting, brooding, and providing general cover. 

Including Canada Wildrye in CRP 

Canada wildrye is great for erosion control, as it seeds and establishes quickly. When planting it in CRP, you can often expect to see it within the first year, though it reaches peak production in the second or third year. It should be planted either early spring or early fall. 

Though low in protein, Canada wildrye can provide energy for grazing animals. If you plan to use it for grazing, it should be done early in the season.  Dog hunters beware. The seed awns are notorious for getting in your dog’s eyes and causing injury. If you are going to use your fields for training or hunting with your dogs you may not want to include any of the wildrye species in your seed mix.  

If you’re looking for CRP grass seed that includes Canada wildrye, we can help. At All Native Seed, we provide the highest quality CRP seed available on the market. All of our seed is reprocessed for enhanced purity and tested for harmful weeds to ensure better germination rates. Additionally, all seed mixes purchased from All Native Seed come with convenient, accurate seed tags for documentation and cost-share reimbursement purposes. 

Additionally, we keep digital copies of all sales in case your tags become damaged or lost. 

If you’re not sure where to begin with seed purchasing and establishment, our parent company may be able to help. FDCE provides full-service CRP solutions that include seed purchasing, planting, herbicide application, documentation, and report submission for cost share reimbursement. You can learn more about FDCE’s services on their website here.