Several varieties of Timothy hay are available today that have improved upon the characteristics of the original Timothy seed. This is an overview of some of the most popular varieties found in the USA.
Climax is derived from the original Timothy hay found in the U.S. The Climax name was officially introduced in 1947. Today, this seed is commonly used in the US and Canada, but newer premium varieties of Timothy have improved upon its characteristics. Climax is frequently used as a component of pasture seed mixtures. It is also a common forage for dairy cows. Climax is known for producing relatively high yields of good quality hay with a slightly later maturity than several other varieties.
Colt offers several improvements over the Climax variety of Timothy. Colt matures faster than Climax, which has benefits in areas with short growing seasons. Colt also offers longer seed heads and leafier stems. The advantages are clearly visible with side-by-side comparisons. Colt has also proven to produce Timothy hay higher in nutritional value than Climax when grown in high-altitude environments, such as Gunnision, Colorado.
Horizon is a newer, premium Timothy hay developed in the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. Many ranchers and growers consider it to be the best Timothy hay variety due to its improved nutritional value.
Esty Ranch started interseeding with the Colt variety of Timothy hay in 2003, but recently began interseeding fields with a premium Horizon variety of Timothy. Horizon has all of the benefits of Colt plus several significant nutritional improvements that add to the overall quality benefits.