Bouteloua curtipendula is a short prairie grass better known as sideoats grama. This bunchy grass is known for its oat-like clusters that grow to one side of its stems. The stems themselves can reach heights of 2-3 feet tall. Though typically green with clusters of golden brown, sideoats grama can turn purple or red later in the year.
This warm season perennial can be found throughout almost all of the US, though it is currently a threatened species in Michigan. In Texas, it is the official state grass.
Sideoats grama provides a number of benefits. Its deep roots and thick clusters help protect against erosion while maintaining soil structure. These traits helped grasslands recover from drought in the 1930s. The stem clusters provide a nutritious food for livestock and wildlife alike. In fact, it can still remain consumable in the winter.
Ultimately, sideoats grama is considered to be one of the most important range grass species.
Using Sideoats Grama in CRP
Sideoats grama is a great addition to CRP grass seed mixes, especially for grassland practices such as CP2. Thanks to its deep roots, it’s fairly resistant to drought. Meanwhile, it provides great protection against both wind and rain erosion. If grazing is a part of your CPO, sideoats grama can provide a great source of nutrition. As a warm season grass, it’s free of endophyte, bacteria that can cause negative side effects in livestock.
Even if you’re not grazing your CRP, sideoats grama is also a popular food source for elk, deer, antelope, and certain birds as well. Not only can this help local wildlife thrive, but it can attract game for those who plan to hunt on their CRP property.
Sideoats grama is best planted either in early spring or late autumn. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re planting quality seed. When purchasing a CRP seed mix with sideoats grama, it’s important that you buy from a company that specializes in CRP.
At All Native Seed, we’ve been operating in the CRP market since 2003. Since then, we’ve worked hard to craft and refine the best CRP seed mixes possible. All of our seed has been reprocessed for enhanced purity and tested for harmful weeds that could otherwise ruin establishment.
To get a quote on a seed mix that includes sideoats grama, or to ask a few questions, contact us today!
If you’d prefer to have someone select your CRP seed and establish it for you, our parent company FDCE can help. FDCE provides full-service CRP solutions that include seed selection, planting, herbicide application, and report submission for cost-share reimbursement. They can even help with the initial CP selection and enrollment process.
To learn more about what FDCE’s CRP contractors can do for you, visit their website here.