Warm season grasses, cool season grasses, and NSC values.

 

The most logical difference between cool and warm season grasses is the climate that they thrive in.

 

jump to shopping

 

  • One other difference of interest to horse owners might be the non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) values. NSC is the combined sugar, starch, and fructan levels of grass. More on NSC things here! Typically, cool-season grasses have higher NSC values. Warm-season grasses have no fructans, thus lowering the NSC.

 

many rolling fields with lush green pasture

Luscious, luscious salad. But do you know what’s in it?

 

  • Cool season grasses, such as blue grass, orchard, canary, rye, fescue, and timothy do well in cooler climates. Think the northern portion of the US. Although, they might also do well in the southern US during the winter. Peak growing season is spring and fall.

 

  • Along with higher NSC values, cool season grasses typically have more calories and are more delicious for horses.

 

round hay bales in hay field

 

  • Warm season grasses love the heat and do well in drought conditions. Bahia, bermuda, and millet varieties are all warm season. Overall quality and tastiness of the grass is a bit less than a cool season grass, but the lower NSC values might make it more suitable for the metabolically challenged horse.

 

gray horse in greenguard muzzle on the grass

Many horses benefit from a muzzle…so they don’t get too many NSC’s…so they stay trim…and stay away from laminitis. This is the Greenguard Muzzle – great for houdini horses.

 

NSC values will fluctuate because of many factors:

 

  • Time of day and temperature – After a cool night or in the afternoon sun, NSC values are higher.

 

  • Sun and shade – sun stimulates photosynthesis, so sunny pastures have higher NSC values. Shade patches are lower.

 

  • Soil – soil varies zip code to zip code!
 
  • Drought – typically, drought stresses out a plant, which will make it hoard sugars, increasing the NSC values.

 

  • Weeds – delicious weeds like dandelion and clover are much higher in NSC, and because of their taste, most horses eat them first. More on dandelions here!

 

go shopping button for horse products

Stock up here for your horse supplies! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but it’s ZERO extra cents to you.  You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

Halters – GG Equine

These grazing muzzle halters have adjustable throat latches and extra strapping to help prevent removal.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a discount on muzzles!

Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings on muzzles!

Grazing Muzzle Accessories – GG Equine

Help your horse have the best-fitting grazing muzzle.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a discount on muzzles!

02/21/2024 02:47 pm GMT

 

 

 

Thank you!