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Wilmington College 2005 

 Cool Season Forage Crops

Common Name:

Perennial Ryegrass

Latin Name:

Lolium perenne

Variety:

Saint

Crop Origin:

Mediterranean area

Type:

Cool season perennial

Date Planted:

24 June, 2003

Growth Stages in Ohio

Perennial ryegrass Jan 1 06.JPG (2999236 bytes) Perennial ryegrass feb 6 06.JPG (1636010 bytes) Perennial ryegrass March 4 06.JPG (3276327 bytes) Perennial ryegrass Apr 4 06.JPG (3376191 bytes) Perennial ryegrass May 5 06.JPG (2787509 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 3 June 05.JPG (3498320 bytes)
January February March April May June
Perennial ryegrass 1 July 05.JPG (3747541 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 7aug05.JPG (2705870 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 3 sep 05.JPG (2700769 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 1 oct 05.JPG (2754437 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 4 Nov 05.JPG (2641458 bytes) Perennial ryegrass 2 dec 05.JPG (2953537 bytes)
July August

September

October November December

Cultivation in Ohio

Primary Uses:

Forage

 Planting:

April 1st to May 1st are best for northern Ohio.  Fall plantings may be made in early August. 

 Seeding Rate:

15-20 lbs pure live seed/acre

Fertility:

Perennial ryegrass can be grown on occasionally wet soils. 

Insects:

none reported

Diseases:

Grey Leaf Spot has been reported in Kentucky.

Harvest:

Like orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass can withstand frequent cutting or grazing. It is more difficult to cut with a sickle bar mower and is slower to dry than other grasses.

Comments:

A cool season bunch grass with poor drought tolerance. Perennial ryegrass infested with an endophytic fungus can be the source of a neurotoxic condition (perennial ryegrass staggers) that occurs only in summer and fall. The fungus occurs in all parts of the plant, especially leaf sheaths, culms, and seeds. Affected animals exhibit fine tremors of the head and nodding movements. Well-grazed, leafy pastures that do not go to seed or are not overgrazed are less likely to be dangerous. Endophyte-free varieties should be used for pasture renovation.

Identification

Leaf:

Perennial ryegrass leaf1.JPG (2117602 bytes) Perennial ryegrass leaf3.JPG (2294571 bytes)

Flower:

Perennial ryegrass flower.JPG (1663512 bytes) Perennial ryegrass flower1.JPG (2573270 bytes)

Seeds:

 Perennial_ryegrass_seed.JPG (1245826 bytes) Perennial_Ryegrass_seedhead.JPG (1849077 bytes)

Distribution:

Perennial Ryegrass distribution map.jpg (30814 bytes) Perennial Ryegrass Plant.jpg (1658909 bytes)

More Information

Links:

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOPE 
http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/publications/grasses/P_rye.htm 
http://ohioline.osu.edu/b762/b762_24.html 
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/pdf/3083.pdf
http://ohioline.osu.edu/b472/