Teff Grass

  • Scientific name: Eragrostis tef
  • High yielding warm season annual forage grass
  • Excellent palatability and forage quality
  • Ideal for horses and other livestock
  • Great for use as an emergency forage crop
  • Excellent for double cropping

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

SKU TEFF Categories , ,

Map of Teff Grass Distribution Area
Teff Grass Distribution Area

Min. to Max. Annual Precipitation


Average Max. Height

A warm-season annual grass commonly used for hay production or grazing. Excellent forage quality and fast growth, can be cut multiple times during the growing season. Very fine stemmed and fine-bladed, making it highly palatable to all classes of livestock. The crude protein levels of Teff hay are much higher than other grass hay. Widely adapted to a range of soil types but does not do well in waterlogged soils or highly saline areas.

Teff Grass (Eragrostis tef)

Teff grass (Eragrostis tef) is a warm season annual grass developed for high forage production. It is a perfect summer forage option when you have a short growing window but need fast, maximum returns.

  • High yielding warm season annual forage grass variety
  • Excellent palatability and forage quality
  • Ideal for horses and other livestock
  • Great for use as an emergency forage crop and for double cropping
  • Good for interseeding thin alfalfa stands in final year of production
  • Excellent rotational crop when replacing alfalfa or perennial grass stands
  • Can be used as a green manure crop and for erosion control

Teff Grass is a warm season annual grass variety developed for high forage production and forage quality without the problems of other summer annual grasses such as prussic acid or nitrate buildup. Teff makes the ideal hay for horses with great palatability, digestibility, a mineral content high in calcium and iron and an attractive green color which is important for the premium horse hay market. Dessie is widely adapted throughout the United States and will tolerate drought conditions as well as wet soils. Dessie is a low input crop that has very few disease or pest problems and does not require high amounts of fertilizer for optimum production. For profitable summer forage production, Dessie is the answer.


  • Plant after all risk of frost has passed. Typically late May through late July
  • Teff grass does not germinate well in cool soils. Most planting occurs after June 1
  • Seeding rate 8 to 12 lbs/acre for coated seed
  • Broadcast or drill
  • A firm seedbed will enhance germination and establishment
  • Seeding depth 1/8 to 1/4 inch
  • Emergence in 3 to 6 days under optimum conditions


  • Teff needs adequate Phosphorous, Potassium and Sulfur – a soil test is recommended
  • 50 pounds Nitrogen per acre at planting. Small
    amounts of N may be needed after each cutting, however too much N causes
    severe lodging.


  • For optimum quality, harvest in pre-boot to early boot stage, approximately 45 to 50 days after planting
  • Harvest regrowth in 40 to 45 days depending on location and environmental conditions
  • Cutting height 3 to 4 inches

***Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab above for more information.

(Eragrostis tef)

Teff Grass (University of Tennessee) Plant Guide

PDF version of U.T. Extension, Institute of Agriculture

Prepared By: David McIntosh, Coordinator
Gary Bates, Professor and Director, UT Beef and Forage Center

Download PDF

Helpful Links

Additional information about this product can be found on the academic websites linked below.


Many plants have more than one common and scientific name. We've listed a few of them below.

  • Teff Grass
  • Eragrostis tef
  • Williams Lovegrass
  • Annual Bunch Grass

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Teff Grass

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