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Annual Ryegrass

Annual ryegrass is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall with many of the same management practices as wheat. It grows well in most areas of Western Canada and can tolerate excess moisture. Annual ryegrass should be one of the first crops planted, preferably into a firm seedbed at about ½ inch deep.Annual ryegrass is mainly used for annual hay or grazing applications, but it is also used for quick ground cover in some turf mixtures.

Field Selection

Annual ryegrass responds well to moisture and nitrogen. It is adapted to different soil types, ranging from light textured sandy soils to heavy clay soils. It is important to select a clean field that is free of residual herbicides such as Treflan™ or Edge™.

Weed Control

Wild oats and quackgrass are the worst weed problems. Wild oats and broadleaf weeds can be controlled with herbicides but there is no in-crop control for quackgrass. 

Seeding

Conventional seeding equipment can be used. Air drills, air seeders, press drills and hoe drills all work well. 

Harvesting

Annual ryegrass must be swathed. Days to maturity for annual ryegrass is comparable to spring wheat. Annual ryegrass is usually harvested 7 – 10 days after cutting. Either conventional or rotary combines can be used. Annual ryegrass is considered dry at 11% moisture, but can be harvested at 14% and dried in an aeration bin. Heat cannot be used as it can affect germination.

Residue

Straw residue can be an added bonus for cattle producers. It can be removed for livestock feed or bedding. Depending on fall moisture, regrowth can be used for fall grazing or hay. 

Seed Yield

Yields range from 1,000 – 1,800 lbs/acre with a five-year average.

Moisture Chart

Meter Reading % Moisture Meter Reading % Moisture
1 9.14 21 13.62
2 9.36 22 13.84
3 9.59 23 14.07
4 9.81 24 14.29
5 10.03 25 14.51
6 10.26 26 14.74
7 10.48 27 14.96
8 10.71 28 15.19
9 10.93 29 15.41
10 11.15 30 15.53
11 11.38 31 15.86
12 11.5 32 16.08
13 11.83 33 16.31
14 12.05 34 16.53
15 12.27 35 16.75
16 12.5 36 16.98
17 12.72 37 17.2
18 12.95 38 17.43
19 13.17 39 17.65
20 13.39 40 17.87

 

10%-11% moisture is dry however must aerate to avoid sweating

Can harvest as high as 15% moisture and air down

Fractional Meter Reading Values
0.1 0.02% 0.4 0.09% 0.7 0.16%
0.2 0.04% 0.5 0.11% 0.8 0.18%
0.3 0.07% 0.6 0.13% 0.9 0.20%

 

Instructions

1) Calibrate meter at 63

2) Weigh 175 grams. Using 9 1​/2 dump cell drop sample into test cell. If sample level is bellow tip of center cone read meter and compute moisture

3) If sample fills test cell above tip of center cone use 150 grams sample and calibrate at 73

4) To obtain percent moisture to tenths of a dial division see values below and add to percent

Example

​Ausume dial reading is 16.4

For reading of 16.0 moisture is 12.50%
Fractional meter reading values for 0.4 is 0.09
Thus dial reading of 16.4 is 12.59%