Italian Ryegrass is a cool-season grass that is bi-annual in nature but is treated as an annual forage in northern climates. It is commonly used for hay, silage, or grazing due to its exceptional forage quality and high season-long yield potential. It will behave differently than annual ryegrass, which will produce seed during the summer if planted in the spring. Italian Ryegrass planted in the spring will remain vegetative throughout the growing season. It displays rapid growth as well as regrowth following cutting. Forage quality of Italian Ryegrass is excellent, with high digestibility as well as crude protein levels in the teens. It is somewhat challenging to cure for hay due to the grass having a waxy covering that gives it its shiny appearance in the field. Italian Ryegrass will produce multiple cuttings on fertile soils with adequate moisture. It is not productive in limited moisture environments and does not perform well in degraded or low fertility soils.
- Planting Time: Early Spring, Italian Ryegrass can tolerate any light frost that may occur after planting
- Drilled Seeding Rate: 25 lbs/acre
- Ideal Seeding Depth: .25-.5”
- Seed can also be broadcasted and rolled or packed to gain seed to soil contact