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Perennial Ryegrass For Farm Uses

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Lolium perenne L.
Cattle in Perennial Rye Grass PasturePerennial Ryegrass, also called English or Australian ryegrass is a native of Europe where its use as a cultivated pasture grass began in the 1700's.
It is a short lived perennial that grows to a height of 1.5 to 2 feet. Produces an abundance of narrow, fine leaves near the base of the plant and long seed stalk above leaves. It is used primarily in pastures as a mixture with clovers and other grasses.

Perennial ryegrass is a valuable forage and soil stabilization plant for ranches and farms. It is the predominant forage grass in Europe, and has been used in the United States for forage and lawns. Generally speaking, the tetraploid cultivars are used for forage, and diploid cultivars are for lawns and conservation plantings. Users should double check the intended use of the available cultivars before buying seed. Italian ryegrass is primarily used for quick cover in erosion control plantings.

Perennial Ryegrass Quick Facts

Origin: Europe
Description: Perennial
Primary Adaptation: Well drained soils with good moisture. Less tolerant of  drought and heat. - Performs as an annual in lower southern USA states.
Uses: Pasture, hay and silage.
Planting Rate: 5-10 lbs and acre in mixtures, and 14-18 lbs an acre alone in spring or late summer.
Fertilization: Very responsive to nitrogen. Tolerates moderate soil acidity.
Seasonal Production: Spring and early summer
Management: Rotational stocking is best management program. Ryegrass will tolerate close grazing, but doesn't stockpile well.
Pests: Usually not a problem

USAGE AREA FOR PERENNIALS

Perennial Ryegrasses are generally NOT suitable for use in warm season Southern State areas (deep south). Perennial life expectancy in cooler areas is in the 4-5 year range. Anaconda is safe for horses and cattle. In warm season areas Perennial ryegrasses will often perform just like annuals in high heat / southern state areas. They generally will die off (completely dead) as summer heat / humidity stresses tend to kill Perennials.

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Planting Perennial Ryegrass For Pasture & Hay

For pasture grass the Tetraploid (four chromosomes) varieties of forage ryegrasses are preferred, over the diploid (two chromosomes) as they yield higher rates of production in cool season areas and are more disease resistant. To plant perennial ryegrass in a pasture use the following recommendations:

New Pastures: 20-40 lbs. / per acre.
Plant in prepared firm, seed bed for best results.
Can be drilled into existing pastures.
Planting Depth: 1/4 inch ideal depth.
Forage varieties: Tivoli, Calibra

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Perennial Ryegrass For Lawns

IMPROVED TURF TYPES:

New turf-type lawn varieties of perennial ryegrass seed are used extensively with other lawn grasses throughout the United States and as pure stands in North East. In warmer (more Southern) climates this perennial ryegrass performs as an annual and dies out under summer heat stress. Germination is good with vigorous establishment of seeds possible with good seed / soil contact.  Lasts longer in spring than Annual Ryegrass. There are now hundreds of improved turf types for lawn and sports field applications available.

Lawn Varieties: Dozens available at Seedland - Read more at Ryegrasses.com.
Professional Select Blend and Pennington Perennial Rye Grass Blend are our two most popular lawn blends.

Do Not Plant Ryegrasses Developed For Lawn Use In Pastures!

Due to the potential for Ryegrasses in pastures to have the possibility of producing higher than desirable Endophyte production of toxins, you should only plant ryegrasses that have a known history of safe use for forages such as annual ryegrass varieties Passerel ryegrass seed or Gulf Annual ryegrass seed. For perennial ryegrass pastures we recommend that you use Linn Perennial Ryegrass Seed. Some of the newer improved perennial ryegrass varieties for lawns often contain Endophytes and are NOT suitable or recommended for pasture use. Plant only forage type varieties for pastures.

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