Crabgrass is believed to have evolved in Africa and made its way to Europe before being introduced to the USA as a contaminant in feed and fodder.
Red River crabgrass was developed by the Noble Foundation following crabgrass research and development which, in part looked at the historic use of crabgrass by farmers for grazing and hay production.
The parent plant for Red River crabgrass was one plant of hairy crabgrass: Digitaria ciliaris. In 1988 Red River crabgrass was officially named and released.
As a runner grass, crabgrass spreads by stolons which can grow to 4 feet in length. Where the stolons touch the ground roots are produced. Red River crabgrass can grow to around 3 feet high and produces enough seed for volunteer re-establishment.
Red River crabgrass is successfully grown in an area extending from Kansas to the South and East coasts of the USA. Best production is achieved in areas with warm, well drained, non-cracking soils. It will not produce well in soils with high salinity or alkalinity.
Planting dates for crabgrass range from February to mid-summer depending on the situation. Crabgrass overseeded in small grains, ryegrass, winter legumes and bermudagrass can be no till planted or broadcast planted and treaded in during February to April. Crabgrass can be overseeded into bermuda grass in mid-summer. Crabgrass planted on a fine prepared seed-bed is best planted as soon as possible after the oaks begin to make leaf (late March to early May, depending on the area). Plant seed very shallow, 0-1/2″ deep.
Seeding rates recommended are usually 2 to 3 pounds of PLS (pure live seed) per acre. However, rates may range
from 1 to 5 pounds depending on the objectives. We will be glad to discuss seeding rates you.
‘Red River’ crabgrass has produced 10,000 to over 12,000 lbs of dry weight forage per acre MANY TIMES under good moisture or irrigation. We believe that potential is important to those of you in good moisture areas or under irrigation. These yields could produce well over 1000 lbs of beef per acre, depending on stock management.
Crabgrass is excellent for summer pastures in many planned volunteer doublecrop forage approaches.
Crabgrass definately responds to acceptable MINIMUM (or reduced) tillage. However, it also is very successful in many NO-TILL approaches. For example: crabgrass & ryegrass; crabgrass & winter legumes (& ryegrass); crabgrass & ‘Matua’ bromegrass; crabgrass and bermuda grass; etc.
Red River crabgrass is one of the most palatable summer forages and the Noble Foundation report average daily gains of 1.8 pounds on medium quality crabgrass for steers and heifers. Under near perfect conditions gains have been around 2.5 pounds per day.
Seed Available in the Following Quantities
Call Freddie Lorenz for a quote – Toll free 1 800 826 3655
- Download this information as a printable .pdf fact sheet. Red River Crabgrass Fact Sheet