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Using Perennial Ryegrass For Pasture & Hay Production
Oregon-Grown Perennial Ryegrass: Without Question
is the Finest Source of Nutritious Pasture. Oregon perennial
ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is a proven performer in the
development of prime permanent pasture in the northern area of the
United States. A tall pasture grass, it is known as a worldwide
temperate to semi-temperate cool-season grass.
Perennial ryegrass is one of the most widely used grasses and is adaptable to a wide variety of soils
and climatic conditions.
Perennial ryegrass is highly regarded as a source of both forage
and hay. With a leafy head and fine stem, it is considered very
Winter growth of perennial ryegrass is lush in areas where
winters are moist and mild, but it comes on strongest in the spring and fall. As a general rule, it will be at its best in temperatures which do not go below 25-35º for extended periods.
Although it will not tolerate extended periods of extreme cold, snow cover will give perennial ryegrass adequate protection at lower temperatures.
Perennial ryegrass will tolerate
limited exposures to very high temperatures and low moisture, but
will not do well in regions where summer temperatures are in
excess of 90º for extended periods of time.
Seeding Rates & Seedbed Preparation For Planting Perennial Ryegrass Seeds
Oregon perennial ryegrass is one of the
easiest grasses to establish. It may be sown on clean-burned
stubble or land not plowed or otherwise prepared in either
unfavorable wet or dry conditions. It will quickly develop a
strong root system and under good conditions will provide light
grazing in 90 days or less.
Recommended seeding rates for
establishment of pasture is 25-35 pounds per acre. Lower rates are
recommended when sown in combination with legumes or small grains.
Ryegrass growth is most rapid when sown in either fall or early
spring. In regions where winters are long and severe it is
recommended that it be sown in spring.
Disease Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass
Perennial ryegrass is not particularly subject
to disease or insect infestation that cannot be treated with
Perennial Ryegrass Handles Grazing & Trampling in a Pasture
A vigorous grass, perennial ryegrass will recover rapidly from heavy grazing and shows superior ability to withstand and bounce back from trampling.
Fertilization Of Perennial Ryegrass Pastures
Perennial ryegrass responds rapidly to fertilization. Its principal nutrient is nitrogen, which is
normally applied at the rate of 150 pounds per acre. Under some circumstances potash and phosphorous will bring good response in some areas.
Germination of Perennial Ryegrass Seed
A very rapid starter, perennial ryegrass will
normally germinate in 7 to 14 days or even less under ideal
conditions. When left uncut, it will grow to a height of 1-1/2 to
3 feet and yet will not become stemmy and unpalatable.
Advantages of Perennial Ryegrass For Hay & Pasture
- Highly nutritious hay or forage
- Germinates in 7 to 14 days
- Exceptionally palatable
- Economical to establish
- Little or no seedbed preparation
- Recovers rapidly from heavy grazing
- Withstands trampling
- Adapts to many soils and climates
- Always in good supply
- Eco-Friendly - Less inputs needed
above provided courtesy of:
Oregon Ryegrass Growers Seed Commission
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