Tall wheatgrass

NOTE: The information in this Agnote must be read in conjunction with Introduction to selecting and using pastures in NSW, which covers information on areas of adaptation, sources of variability, species mixtures, and important issues related to animal health and the conservation of native vegetation.
Pasture type and use Perennial temperate grass with main growth in spring and autumn. Useful species in saline soils. Useful for making stored fodder in the form of round bales or silage.
Area of adaptation All tablelands and slopes areas of NSW, Riverina, Central West Plains and irrigated areas.
Min. average annual rainfall 400 mm (southern NSW) to 500 mm (northern NSW).
  • Suited to saline and poorly drained soils.
  • Slow to establish.
  • If ungrazed, develops tall rank growth.
  • Not as salt-tolerant as puccinellia.
Soil requirements Saline and poorly drained soils.
Varieties Tyrrell
Dundas * - selected for increased feed quality.

* Denotes that this variety is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights.

Sowing rates:
- as only species 3–12 kg/ha
- in mixtures 3–5 kg/ha
Sowing time Dryland: Sow in early autumn for best results.
Irrigated or high-rainfall areas: Late winter to early spring.
Companion species Compatible in mixtures with puccinellia, tall fescue, phalaris, strawberry clover, white clover.
Inoculation N/A
Main insect pests No significant problems.
Main diseases No significant problems.
Management Do not graze plant until the crown is well developed. Ideally, keep plants short to stop plants developing tall rank growth, which becomes unpalatable to livestock.
Livestock disorders of particular note No problems reported.
Further information Dryland Salinity 4. ‘Productive use of salt affected land’, Salt Action Program.

Saltland Pastures in Australia - A practical guide, EG Barrett-Lennard & CV Malcolm, WA Department of Agriculture, 1995.


The contributions of Andrew Wooldridge, NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR), Cowra, and Alan Nicholson, DIPNR, Wellington, are gratefully acknowledged.

Advice on livestock health disorders was provided by Dr Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture, Orange. His contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

Photo: Warren McDonald, Former Technical Specialist (Pastures), NSW Agriculture, Tamworth