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COOL SEASON GRASSES

PERENNIAL / ITALIAN RYEGRASS

NOTICE: From time to time, supplies of Certified Organic Seed run out. When this occurs, we use the organic seeds (in a mixture) that we still have and then use Untreated non-GMO seed for the remainder of the mixture. We will then issue a non-GMO letter upon request.

Description Perennial Ryegrass

If you look at global grazing agriculture, perennial ryegrass is the most widely used grass for grazing in the world because of its aggressive growth and high forage quality. Use has been limited in North America but in the last two decades, usage has increased. With proper management and high fertility, perennial ryegrass can be persistent for 5 to 7 years or more in the Midwest. All the varieties we select have excellent grazing tolerance.

Description Italian Ryegrass

Italian ryegrass is a winter annual plant that requires vernalization (a period of cold and reduced day length) to initiate heading. When sown in spring, very few seedheads will be observed throughout the seeding year. If fall sown, the plants will head profusely the following spring. Italian ryegrass is extremely high yielding and is typically the highest quality grass. Its lower cost and ease of seeding make Italian ryegrass an excellent choice as a nurse crop for other species or a great short term forage in the growing zones 4, 5 & 6.

KF Eclipse Perennial Ryegrass (NEW)
OR & UT
  • Selected for palatability
  • Tremendous yielder
  • Very high sugar
  • Very good winterhardiness
  • One of the most durable pasture grasses
  

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


KF Allegro Italian Ryegrass
OR & UT
  • Blend of diploid and tetraploid
  • When spring grown (best for North), very resistant to heading
  • Best rust-resistant variety in the Byron lineup
  • Serves as emergency forage in just 40 days
  • Highest yielder in research plots

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

     

Management

Successful use of perennial ryegrass requires aggressive management and high fertility. Intensively managed pastures are a great place to use perennial ryegrass. Perennial ryegrass makes excellent haylage or baleage, but does not dry well for hay. Residual heights can be lower with perennial ryegrass compared to other grasses. Grazing down to about 2 inches in spring and fall is optimum but we find leaving higher residual of at least 3 inches in the summer helps persistence and overall productivity of the stand.

Establishment

Perennial ryegrass can be sown by itself or sown in mixtures with legumes or other cool-season grasses. Planting depth should be 0.25 to 0.50 inch. Broadcast sowing into thin stands can be successful but no-till drilling is the recommended method to thicken existing stands. Plants are ready for harvesting when they no longer can be pulled out by the roots.

 

Kentaur Perennial Ryegrass (NEW)
OR & UT
  • Tetraploid for larger leaves and higher yields
  • Great performer in the transition zone
  • Very winter hardy
  • Bred in the Czech Republic
  • Suitable for haylage or grazing
  

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Aston Energy Perennial Ryegrass (NEW)
OR & UT
  • Selected for digestible fiber
  • European trials show higher milk per ton
  • Fast establishment
  • Late heading
  • Suitable for grazing, haylage-baleage
  

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Ryegrass P or I T or D* Maturity Winter
Hardiness
Persistence
KFEclipse P T 8 9 9
Kentaur P T 7 10 9
Remington P T 8 9 9
Aston Energy P T 8 8 9
KF Allegro I T/D 9 8 9

P = Perennial ryegrass     I = Italian ryegrass
Rating values only comparable for products within this chart
1 = least desirable 10 = most desirable
*T = Tetraploid D = Diploid