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An improved Clair selection with alfalfa-equivalent maturity and better summer regrowth.

Breeding & Development

KY-Early Timothy is an improved selection from Clair timothy bred for earlier heading, high yields, improved vigor and re-growth.  It was developed jointly by the KY Ag Experimental Station and the USDA-ARS and has been extensively tested. In Kentucky, it continually outperforms many other cultivars.

Timothy forage grass

Early Harvest

KY-Early was specifically bred for earlier maturity to better coincide with alfalfa harvest. KY-Early is earlier than Clair, Climax and most other timothy varieties.

Multi-Year Performance

KY-Early has shown an ability to survive wet years as well as dry/hot years, assuring farmers of longer-lasting stands.

High Yields

KY-Early is a high forage yielder as show by the most recent University of Kentucky data below. Growers can expect high yields with KY Early, plus excellent vigor, winter hardiness, and mid-summer growth. KY-Early has been evaluated in Kentucky for numerous years. The most recent data is from a 2013 planting. As of 2016, KY-Early is the highest yielding entry and the earliest to head.

Timothy Forage Trials

Lexington, KY, 2016-2016

 Maturity May 12-13Percent StandYield (tons/acre)
Variety3-yr Ave¹14-Oct-1317-Oct-162014 Total2015 Total2016 Total3-year Total
LSD 14110.640.940.792.02
Trial sown September 5, 2013.
¹Average May 12-13, 2014-16. Maturity rating scale: 37 = flag leaf emergence, 45 = boot swollen, 50 = beginning of inflorescence emergence, 58 = complete emergence of inflorescence, 62 = beginning of pollen shed.
*Not significantly different from the highest numerical value in the column, based on the 0.05 LSD.


KY-Early can be used for both hay and grazing, and is ideal forage for all types of livestock including horses, cattle, sheep and goats. Both grazers and hay producers will appreciate the increased leafiness and darker green color.  For grazing, note all timothy varieties can be damaged by over grazing. Use in continuous grazing situations will drastically reduce plant longevity.

Planting Information

Seeding Rate8–12 lbs./ac
Seeding Rate – with alfalfa or clover2–4 lbs./ac
Planting Dateslate summer/early fall and late winter/early spring
Planting Zones (map)green
Planting Depth1/4–1/2"
Planting map for Ky-Early