Conservation Education, Cover Crops Series - Issue 4
How do you plant Annual Ryegrass?
Plant anytime in the growing season prior to the beginning of October
Great establishment in non-incorporated and incorporated situations
Rates vary depending on the situation but range from 10 to 25 pounds per acre
Ryegrass as a forage
High-quality forage is available through the early seedhead stage
High digestibility and protein
Grazing can begin when the biomass reaches a height of 6”, rested for one to two weeks before grazing continues
As a hay, annual ryegrass will produce two tons of dry matter per acre
What are the benefits of ryegrass?
Nutrient recycling and recovery are just two of the benefits associated with annual ryegrass. Nitrogen can be recycled providing up to 80 pounds per acre.
When planted for several years, annual ryegrass will aid in the transformation of phosphorus to become available to plants. Annual ryegrass thick matt of biomass will increase the amount of organic matter improving the water holding capacity, nutrient retention, and overall health of the soil. This species makes a great interseeding cover crop, as it will go dominate around 80 degrees not robbing nutrients from the growing cash crop. As a hay, annual ryegrass will produce two tons of dry matter per acre.
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