Annual Ryegrass Forage in the Fall and Spring

Click here to access an article from a Missouri dairy specialist who advises planting forage crops in the fall to supplement feed stocks with healthy grasses and grain foliage.

Extension agent Ted Probert said, “Annuals are useful in extending the grazing season into late fall and early winter and can also provide the earliest available spring grazing.┬áSmall grains including wheat, rye, triticale and oats are old standbys for annual forage production,” he said.

He also advised livestock owners to consider annual ryegrass as another species to consider for winter annual forage production.

“Ryegrass is not as early as cereal rye regarding spring grazing but will usually start growth earlier than most perennial pasture species.” An advantage of annual ryegrass, he said, is that it’s productive life into the spring as a forage is longer than winter annuals.

But, if you’re also using the annual ryegrass as a cover crop, planning to follow it with, say, a corn or bean crop, naturally you’ll want to terminate the annual ryegrass a couple of weeks in advance of spring planting of cash crops. Click here to view the annual ryegrass management guide for more details of that.

 

 

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