Annual Ryegrass establishes very quickly, with a deep root system that does an excellent job of scavenging nitrogen and breaking up soil compaction. Seeded in fall, it may survive the winter and must be controlled in spring or you may have volunteer problems in the future as it will head out quickly. Annual ryegrass is a bunch-grass, with numerous long, narrow, stiff leaves near the base of the plant. The undersurfaces of leaves are bright, glossy, and smooth. Inflorescence stems are nearly naked.
Ryegrass is generally cut for hay when seed heads start to emerge. Pastures should be rotationally grazed when spring growth is 3 to 6 inches high. Allowing 7 to 10 inches of regrowth between grazings will benefit yield and persistence. On new seedings, harvest or grazing should be delayed until plants are 10 to 12 inches tall. Ryegrass responds well to good management, such as intensive rotational grazing and fertilizer applications.
- Price (per lb): $.75
- Seeds per lb: 224,000
- Seeding Rate (lbs per acre): 30 - 40 (if seeded alone)
- Seeding Date: Mid August - Early November