Crabgrass: Digitaria

Over the past 30 years, producers have realized the potential of Crabgrass. This once, humble weed, is now recognized as a premier summer annual forage crop.

All about Crabgrass


This “Weed” that has become a forage grass over the years is traditionally thought to have its origins rooted in Africa. Most likely, it was carried over to North America with other grass seeds. Crabgrass is a warm-season annual grass that is planted in the spring, grows throughout the summer months, and dies off after a killing frost. Crabgrass can be utilized across the southeast and in some northern regions of the United States. There are several species of Crabgrass, the most common being the large or hairy Crabgrass. This forage type grows long stolons or runners along the ground and can reach heights of above 24 inches. Crabgrass is a prolific re-seeder (one of the reasons it is such a pesky plant to have in your lawn) that allows for the opportunity to have a voluntary stand the following summer. Crabgrass has excellent drought tolerance, its best use is in well-drained soils, but can adapt to a wide range of areas.  



Since producers were starting to notice the benefits of grazing crabgrass as a high-quality forage, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation (Noble Research Institute) in Ardmore Oklahoma began to look closer into Crabgrass. In 1988 the variety ‘Red River’ was released.


Since the release of Red River, advancements have been made, and in 2016, Barenbrug USA licensed the variety “Impact” from Noble Research Institute. Impact has later maturity and improved vegetative growth when compared to Red River. Furthermore, Impact is up to 10 days later maturing, resulting in better forage quality. Broadly adapted, with high nutritive quality and excellent reseeding ability.

With the development of Crabgrass over the past 30 years, Barenbrug USA brings these two varieties together to make the high-quality, forage crabgrass seed mixture “Mojo.” The combination of the early maturing Red River and the late-maturing Impact brings superior forage quality and all the benefits of using crabgrass for an annual summer crop.



Learn more about managing Mojo Forage Crabgrass here