Ag Education II
• What do you know about rye grass?
• How many kinds of rye grass are there?
• Where is it grown?
• Why is rye grass important?
Where did Ryegrass come from?
• Ryegrasses were
brought to the USA
from Europe and are
now planted and
grown throughout the
• Scientific name- Lolium
• Other names- Italian
• Growth Type- bunch
• Texture- Coarse
• Density- Medium to poor
• Color- light green
Uses for Ryegrass
• Uses • Grain Uses
• 1. Grain 30-40% • 1. Flour
• 2. Hay • 2. Alcohol
• 3. Pasture • 3. Seed
• 4. Cover Crop • 4. Livestock Feed
• Temporary cover
• Nurse grass
• Silage and Green chop
• Erosion Control
• Wildlife cover feed
• Less subject to disease due to its hardiness
• Ergot is most common disease
• Ergot- A kernel is replaced with black or purple
fungus called sclerotia
• Leaf spot, barley yellow dwarf virus
• No insect problems are unique to annual ryegrass.
Grass grub is an important pest of ryegrass.
• In the Southeastern pets ryegrass seedlings are
attacked by mole crickets and fall armyworms
• Life cycle- Annual or short lived
• Propagation- seed
• Sun/ Shade- sun to moderate shade
• Soil- medium to heavy
• Moisture- medium to wet
• Good with irrigated farming on well-drained land
• Annual ryegrass is best adapted to cool, moist
• In the milder regions of its adaptation zone, annual
ryegrass can survive for several years. In the more
extreme environments, it behaves as an annual.
• Annual ryegrass grows best on fertile, well-drained
soils, but has a wide range of soil adaptability
Conditions for Growing
• Annual ryegrass grows best on fertile, well-
drained soils, but has a wide range of soil
• Annual ryegrass is tolerant of long periods of
continuous flooding—15 to 20 days when
temperatures are below 81°F (27°C).
• Annual--- Difficult to cut
• Can become weedy
Perennial Vs. Annual
• Perennial requires a dormancy period of
cool temperatures before it flowers--they
also flower in late spring
• Annual can be grown in more places than
Where Ryegrass is grown in the
• There are nearly 3 million acres
of annual ryegrass in the
United States, with about 90
percent used for winter pasture
in the southeast.
• Annual ryegrass produces some
of the highest quality pasture
that can be grown in the
southeastern United States.
• very good quality possible
• easy to establish
• rapid growth rate
• poor drought and heat tolerance
• not well suited to poorly drained soils
Yield (based on 2 harvest seasons)
• Seeds/ pound: 227,000
• Seeding rate: 15-20 pounds per acre
• Seeding date: early spring
• May survive winter with alfalfa if consistent