Forage: Reed canarygrass is primarily adapted for permanent hay or pasture on sites too wet for good performance of other forage plants. The forage should be grazed or mowed prior to heading as both quality and palatability decline rapidly after heading. A common mistake is to use reed canarygrass on wet sites where timely harvest is not possible. Make sure to use low alkaloid varieties for increased forage quality and palatability.
Erosion control: The extensive, rhizomatous root system and dense growth of reed canarygrass provide excellent erosion control, especially along stream banks, shorelines and waterways. Reed canarygrass invades wet areas so its use along ditches, canals and drains can create maintenance problems; it can also be troublesome in wetland habitats.
Wildlife: This grass provides excellent nesting and escape cover and the shattered seeds are readily eaten by many species of birds.