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Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is a short-lived perennial grass with a shallow fibrous root system. It is a low growing bunch type grass with short leafless stems. Perennial ryegrass is one of the most widely used grass species in the world. The main uses are for overseeding on golf courses in the southern United States, and in turfgrass mixes around the world. Managed as a biennial crop, it is seeded one year and harvested the next, resulting in one year of seed production. It is typically under-seeded with wheat, oats or barley. 

Field Selection

Perennial ryegrass responds well to moisture and nitrogen. It is adapted to different soil types, ranging from light textured sandy soils to heavy clay soils. The field must be free of residual herbicides such as Edge, Treflan and others. It is important to review the herbicide history of the field before planting. As well, a field that has had glyphosate applications and is clean of quackgrass is essential.

Weed Control

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

Seeding

Conventional seeding equipment can be used. Seeded at 8 lbs/acre, air drills, air seeders and hoe drills work well. 

Harvesting

Perennial ryegrass must be swathed, usually in late July to early August. It is earlier than most crops so it can help split up the harvest. Harvesting usually takes place about seven days after cutting depending on weather. Dry is 11%, but ryegrass can be harvested at 14% or 15% and dried in an aeration bin. Heat cannot be used as it can affect germination 

Seed Yield

Perennial ryegrass yields in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have ranged from 600 to over 1,600 lbs/acre net clean seed, with a five-year average of 800 lbs. 

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%