Teff Grass is a multi-cut, warm season annual forage that is used for making dry hay. One of the reasons it has become so popular is its high yield potential and quality of forage. It has a fine, soft blade with a leaf to stem ratio that is very high and can consistently test at 15-17% crude protein. It is very popular in the horse and small ruminant markets due to how soft and digestible the forage is and is a great starter feed for calves.
How do I manage Teff Grass?
Teff Grass needs to be managed similar to alfalfa. It likes to be planted into a very firm seed bed and should be seeded no deeper than ¼ inch deep. If you are using raw seed, you can seed it at 5-7 lbs per acre. However, most Teff is coated with a clay or lime coating to help bulk the seed size up and make it easier to seed through a drill, so planting the coated seed at 8-12 lbs/acre is recommended. The clay coating will help the seed absorb moisture and increase germination as well.
My Teff is Planted – What’s Next?
As with any crop that is planted, patience is key as you wait to reap a harvest! Your first cutting will be 45-50 days after planting and second cutting will be 30 days after the first cutting.
TIP: ensure you leave at least 3 inches of stubble during the first cutting to prevent a decline in forage production for the next cuttings.
Teff Grass tends to invoke a love/hate relationship for many people. It is a great option for feed, despite the need for more management than other warm season grasses. Please reach out to anyone on Team Millborn if you have questions about Teff Grass or any other forage options.