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Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass makes excellent haylage or balage.

Description

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. Companies like Barenbrug and DLF are constantly developing varieties that are better adapted to usage in the Midwest. All the varieties we select have excellent grazing tolerance.

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 balage, 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 its self or sown in mixtures with legumes or other cool season grasses. Planting depth should be 0.25 to 0.50 inches. 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.

BG-24T
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Earlier maturity matches well with the transition zone
  • Contains both diploid and tetraploid varieties to optimize yield and density
  • Typically out yields BG-34 from I-70 South
Zones: 1,2,3,4
BG-34
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Late heading
  • Excellent fiber digestibility
  • Winterhardy
  • Tried and true performer for many years
Zones: 1,2,3,4
Kentaur
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Tetraploid for larger leaves and higher yields
  • Great performer in the transition zone
  • Very winterhardy
  • Bred in the Czech Republic
  • Suitable for haylage or grazing
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
Remington
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Our best variety for summer production
  • Late tetraploid
  • Winterhardy
  • Can go further south
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Tivoli
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Very dense for a tetraploid
  • Many times in tests, this is our highest quality variety
  • Very little summer heading
  • Stands out in late spring and fall for yield
Zones: 1,2,3,4