Weather has been a challenge for growers in the Midwest the past couple of years. Cameron Mills, a Walton, IN, producer hired an air operator to aerially apply about 22,000 pounds of annual ryegrass in 2009 and 2010.
In 2009, we’d had a wet and cool summer and harvest was very late…we were still shelling corn in December! So, the annual ryegrass didn’t get planted until Labor Day and it turned cold quickly. The annual ryegrass was barely showing out from under the corn stalk residue. When the snow melted in the spring of 2010, the temperature warmed and the grass bounced back and delivered excellent results.
This past year, we had a record dry summer and fall. I flew on the annual ryegrass August 26th, when it was bone dry. But luckily, we got a short rain a few days later and that was enough to germinate the ryegrass. Though continued dry, the ryegrass was pretty lush when snow fell. So I was surprised to see it had turned totally brown this spring. I said ‘Uh oh,’ but when the temperature warmed, the grass bounced back and went gangbusters this spring, even with the cold and excess rain.
I was a bit worried about killing it this spring, too, but hit it hard with glyphosate when we got a 60 degree day. Then the temperatures dipped into the 40s and 30s and though it looked as if the grass had been killed with the first application, it came back. I think you need a couple of good days for complete trans-location to occur and kill the ryegrass. So, we hit it again with glyphosate and that took care of it.
Now, we’re in the third week in May and I’m only halfway done with corn planting.