Ryegrass Only as a winter forage

Help Support CattleToday:

rockroadseminole

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
133
Reaction score
1
Has anyone in the south had an experience planting ryegrass alone as a winter grazing forage. (Ignoring legumes for this discussion.) We typically plant a rye/ryegrass or oat/ryegrass mixture in an effort to extend the grazing season.

How soon have you grazed ryegrass? My limited research points to ryegrass really being a spring forage, but I have no real world experience with straight ryegrass. I would like to plant now and graze by Thanksgiving and can with rye or oats, but would go all in on ryegrass if I thought it wouldn't take till February to start coming on.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
I’ve planted straight ryegrass before. Works good but it’s gonna be around late March to April, depending on the weather, before you see any real benefit. But that works good bc it gives the Bermuda grass time to get kicked off.
 
OP
rockroadseminole

rockroadseminole

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
133
Reaction score
1
JMJ Farms":24u4ixb5 said:
I’ve planted straight ryegrass before. Works good but it’s gonna be around late March to April, depending on the weather, before you see any real benefit. But that works good bc it gives the Bermuda grass time to get kicked off.

Did it give you adequate grazing in January?
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
rockroadseminole":2vdk53u7 said:
JMJ Farms":2vdk53u7 said:
I’ve planted straight ryegrass before. Works good but it’s gonna be around late March to April, depending on the weather, before you see any real benefit. But that works good bc it gives the Bermuda grass time to get kicked off.

Did it give you adequate grazing in January?

No. I don’t even turn them in on it until
late March or sometimes on in to April. But it’s a little warmer in Florida than Georgia so you may possibly have some earlier grazing from ryegrass.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,552
Reaction score
367
Location
Central Texas
Where you are makes a big difference. Water and heat the main factor.

I have planted strait gulf coast ryegrass years back. Plowed ground with a good seed bed. Planted mid September good rain and fertility to graze mid November. Dads oats outproduced it by far till spring. Never went straight ryegrass again.

Change any of these components to a dry spell, hotter temperatures, over seeding into pasture rather than tilled seedbed, cheating out on fertility....you will be pushing back the date to begin grazing. Push it far enough and it gets to cold for adequate growth to keep up.

Oats is a little more forgiving but it follows the same pattern. For me it’s has better heat and drought tolerance in the fall but rust can be its demise in the spring when the ryegrass begins to shine. In my opinion it will outproduce gulf coast ryegrass (or any of ryegrass varieties) for fall or early winter grazing in my area. Their it is, my area.
 

M-5

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
7,338
Reaction score
6
Location
AT the FLORIDA STATE line checking papers
1982vett":1akk1gaz said:
Where you are makes a big difference. Water and heat the main factor.

I have planted strait gulf coast ryegrass years back. Plowed ground with a good seed bed. Planted mid September good rain and fertility to graze mid November. Dads oats outproduced it by far till spring. Never went straight ryegrass again.

Change any of these components to a dry spell, hotter temperatures, over seeding into pasture rather than tilled seedbed, cheating out on fertility....you will be pushing back the date to begin grazing. Push it far enough and it gets to cold for adequate growth to keep up.

Oats is a little more forgiving but it follows the same pattern. For me it’s has better heat and drought tolerance in the fall but rust can be its demise in the spring when the ryegrass begins to shine. In my opinion it will outproduce gulf coast ryegrass (or any of ryegrass varieties) for fall or early winter grazing in my area. Their it is, my area.
Yep, oats for fall early winter, rye for spring. Plant a mix and you should be good.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
I have had way better results with Marshall ryegrass than gulf varieties if you can find it. Don’t know why. But I have.

I was answering the question of straight ryegrass but my annual fall planting in cultivated dirt consists of oats, rye, and ryegrass. With the right weather, which is unusual, I get late fall grazing out of the oats, winter grazing out of the rye, and early spring grazing out of the ryegrass. I usually plant 2 bushels of rye, 2.5 bushels of oats, and about 15 lbs of ryegrass to the acre. Works good most years. Just wish I had more land for winter grazing.

I’ve tried overseeding pastures with mixed results. Best I’ve done was with ryegrass and clover planted in early December. Never had much luck with oats or rye.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,552
Reaction score
367
Location
Central Texas
Probably should edit the outproduce comment....I say gulf coast has a better volunteer record in my area. I depend greatly on this trait at $40 a bag. Therefore I see reseeding itself a plus.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
1982vett":1uhrsgol said:
Probably should edit the outproduce comment....I say gulf coast has a better volunteer record in my area. I depend greatly on this traitor $40 a bag.

I would think your comment was dead on. You said oats would outproduce ryegrass for fall/early winter grazing. That’s always been my experience as well.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,552
Reaction score
367
Location
Central Texas
JMJ Farms":1h8h3urh said:
1982vett":1h8h3urh said:
Probably should edit the outproduce comment....I say gulf coast has a better volunteer record in my area. I depend greatly on this traitor $40 a bag.

I would think your comment was dead on. You said oats would outproduce ryegrass for fall/early winter grazing. That’s always been my experience as well.
Oats to ryegrass yes. Marshall ryegrass to gulf coast might not be so. Drawing a blank on the variety I tried back in 2010 that was ultimately a failure due to dry hot conditions. Last time I tried to fix what wasn’t actually broke. ;-)
 

Banjo

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,553
Reaction score
273
Location
Ky
Marshall ryegrass is more cold hardy....its planted a lot up here.
 

Texasmark

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
6
Location
N. Texas
JMJ Farms":3ven7c8k said:
I’ve planted straight ryegrass before. Works good but it’s gonna be around late March to April, depending on the weather, before you see any real benefit. But that works good bc it gives the Bermuda grass time to get kicked off.

That's the way mine works. You try to plant it Labor Day and if you get the moisture you have a good stand before it goes dormant. Then when spring arrives and things warm up it works for you. As the season warms into the May-June timeline, it dies off as Bermuda flourishes. A win win combination....just feed "them".

Once you get rye established and let it head out a couple of times, it will reseed itself and you don't have to plant it to have it. If anything, you have to work at it to get rid of it if you ever get it established and want to be rid of it.

In the fall, when things cool off and the first good rains come, it sprouts itself (from seed) since the annual variety is readily available. If you put some steel in the ground it likes that too as soon as it gets wet; gets last year's leftovers out of it's way. I like it for several reasons: Self reseeding (saves you the trouble and expense of putting in winter pasture every year), winter hardy, good nutrition, and cows like it.

If you are haying and not grazing, you can double crop it. Do the same thing but bale it in April-May and by mid June your Bermuda will be ready. Hay not what Bermuda is but it makes feed when things happen like around here where we have been having wet winters and dry (stages of drought) summers that affect your summer hay crop big time.
 
OP
rockroadseminole

rockroadseminole

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
133
Reaction score
1
Good info! Going to stick with last year’s mix of rye/ryegrass/Clover. It was a thought, but I try to graze from Thanksgiving thru spring and it sound s like ryegrass alone won’t cut it.

We’re going to try FL104 rye, prine ryegrass, and Dixie crimson clover from a variety standpoint.

Currently getting the stink eye from the neighbors. Spread chicken litter this week.
 

Latest posts

Top