Field planted to switchgrass. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.
Restored prairie with mix of native grasses and forbs. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.
Grass planting is establishing or restoring permanent, perennial conservation cover consisting of native or non-native (introduced) grass mixes. Grass planting is common on retired marginal cropland as a stand-alone practice to prevent wind and water erosion and provide habitat. Grass planting is also a key element of many other conservation practices.
Some of the most commonly planted introduced or cool-season grass species in Minnesota are smooth bromegrass, timothy and orchard grass. Introduced grass mixes often include legumes such as alfalfa, red clover, sweet clover and alsike clover.
Many conservation programs promote native or warm-season grasses; they provide exceptional habitat and their deeper roots make them especially effective at erosion control. Switchgrass, indiangrass and big bluestem are some of the most commonly planted native grass species in Minnesota. Seed mixes for restoring prairie or other native grasslands usually include a diversity of native grass species as well as forbs (broad-leaved flowering plants).
Similar & related practices
Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Minnesota Post-CRP Options - Minnesota Department of Agriculture
See also resources for Grassland Management, General Habitat, Rare & Declining Habitat and Pasture/Hay Planting.
See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District