Overseeding pasture with annuals in fall

What annuals do you use to overseed perennial grasses in the fall? (annual rye, teff, oats, wheat, etc?) When is the right time to plant in the NE for fall and winter forage?

not sure when to overseed but Teff is a warm weather grass and will not be useful as winter pasture

You definitely can’t use Teff for that up there.

You might be too late for NE, but annual/winter Rye might work if you’ve got some ok rain coming and it’s not too cold yet. Talk to your county extension agent.

You don’t have metabolic horses though right? Aren’t they all (except the teff) high sugar?

Here, FL, annual ryegrass, wheat and oats are all popular for winter forage. Mixes, with some other stuff (millet I think?) are readily available here.

It might be a bit late for planting in the NE. It’s late for me to plant here, as the rain isn’t as predictable now.

I’ve always done straight ryegrass. There are several varieties available though I’m not terribly educated about them

Correct, all those (excepting Teff which isn’t an option anyway) wouldn’t be suitable for most metabolic horses, especially if you were expecting it to provide substantial forage.

Thanks. No metabolic horses, but with that warning in mind I will be careful to limit the easy keeper’s access. I don’t want to seed heavily enough that I have an entire field of a winter crop, just want to add a little colder season grazing in a few spots if I can. We are having unseasonably warm and damp weather here this fall, so I think I’ll buy a bag or two of whatever winter seed mix the feed store has and risk that it might be too late for this year. We’ll see how it goes!

I know nothing about the NE, so your state’s land grant university / school of agriculture is your best source.

But, here in the sunny SE, I overseed my pastures with Attain annual winter rye grass. It is a winter forage grass developed by the University of Florida for my particular climate. It is sowed when daytime highs are 70-75, and night time lows are in the 50’s. We won’t get that chilly for at least a couple more weeks, but I have the seed and spreader ready to go.

So check with your state Ag school or county extension agent for specific advice for your farm location.


where do you find it?

It’s usually pretty modestly priced, so it won’t hurt too much if it doesn’t do well.

I started some in January one year in North Alabama. It grew some, but never got very thick.

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I overseeded with rye last year in Virginia and it grew quite well, except for Jan and Feb. Does anyone know if it is safe for pregnant mares (no endophytes)?

I believe the potential endophyte problem is with perennial rye grasses, and of course fescue grasses.The annual rye grasses should not be a problem.


I just went to our local feed & grain store where they sell oats, soybean meal, etc bagged to requested amount. As @lenapesadie mentioned, it wasn’t expensive (somewhere in the range of $22/100lb wheat, $27/100lb oats - which just went up from $22/100lb, $36/100lb rye). I bought bin-run instead of certified seed, so I’m not sure how much more expensive certified seed would be.

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I decided to plant 2 of my 3 fields with a mix of wheat (I assume spring wheat), winter wheat, cereal rye, and oats. I seeded at higher rates since my only seeding option was to broadcast – about 55-60 lb/acre on the larger pasture where both horses will graze very limited hours with the easy keeper in a grazing muzzle and about 200-210lb/acre on the half acre lot where the harder keeper will graze alone for relatively short periods. Less than a week later, many of the seeds have germinated and a few already have 1" sprouts. It seems like a good start. We’ll see how it goes from here!

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I was actually asking about the Attain rye. I typically use regular rye grass and it does fine here in Ocala.

Sorry, I was confused! Good luck finding it

I order Attain winter rye grass seed through Aiken Saddlery - a combination tack store and feed and seed store. This year it was $47 per 50 pound bag,

The grass has a wider blade than the ornamental rye grass seeds sold in the local big box stores and TSC and is a few dollars a bag less expensive. Attain seems to me to hold up better to horse traffic and grazing pressures as well, but that’s just a personal observation. It is used in large cattle operations as winter forage grass, and in huge operations is even sowed by airplane.

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thx! im in Ocala…will have to search it out