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COVER CROPS

Annual Ryegrass

Description

Annual ryegrass is one of the best choices for a fall planted cover crop because of its versatility, ease of establishment, amazing root system, and incredible nutrient scavenging abilities. It is an excellent soil builder, great at erosion control and weed suppression. The massive root system can add 5000- 9000 lbs of organic material per acre, growing down to 54 inches, providing channels for air, water, and following crop root systems. Farmers have reported corn root zones down to nearly 5 feet following ryegrass.

Management

Annual ryegrass has extremely fast emergence and establishes quickly on a variety of soil types.

UT
Mo-1 Annual Ryegrass

  • Cold tolerance
  • Excellent palatability
  • Very vigorous
  • Superior yields
  • Rapid Establishment

Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


UT
KB Royal Annual Ryegrass

  • More fall growth than any other ryegrass
  • Can be aerial seeded
  • Deep roots break up hard pan
  • Establishes quickly to prevent erosion
  • Great weed suppressor
  • Great nutrient scavenger
  • 4000-8000 lbs dry matter per acre

Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

It works well alone or in mixes. In severe winter conditions, annual ryegrass can winter kill, but roots have usually grown down 24-32 inches, sequestering leftover nutrients and providing a good start for the following crop. Incorporation will work to kill ryegrass if it is completely covered. If using glyphosate, apply a full rate when the days are warm, averaging over 50°F, and the grass is growing vigorously.

Establishment

Drill at 15-20lbs/A or fly on at 20-25lbs/A, ¼ to ½ inch deep or fly into standing corn at the higher rate. You can also broadcast onto bare soil and roll with a cultipacker. Seed 40 days before killing frost date to help protect from winter kill. Annual ryegrass rates in mixes can be cut to 8-15 lbs.

Annual Ryegrass Chart

Annual Ryegrass