Caldwell_banner_4-8-16
Advertise With Us Subscribe Today Facebook
SouthernLivestock.com
Not a member? Membership has its privileges— Register today! • Make SLS your homepage!
Cattle & Services Directory
House Ad_Box_#2Lone Star Angus_3-26-16Lesikar Angus_3-26-16
Impact Cattle Mktg_3-14-17M6 Dispersal_3-3-17
Note: login or register to personalize
Submit Recipes to the Editor
home articles Pastures & Forages |

Options to address ryegrass for warm-season forage production

published: February 6th 2017
by: Adam Russell
source: Texas Agrilife Today

OVERTON – Producers hoping to mitigate annual ryegrass growth for warm-season hay production have options and should start sooner than later, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Annual ryegrass, a cool-season forage, is often utilized by livestock producers for winter grazing, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton. However, East Texas hay producers often view it as an unwanted species that competes with Bermuda and Bahia grasses, she said.

Volunteer annual ryegrass can be common in East Texas hay meadows. Winter rainfalls can promote seed germination, and seeds can survive multiple years in regional soils.

Late season annual ryegrass can delay or prevent warm-season perennial forages, such as Bermuda or Bahia grasses, from breaking dormancy in April or May.

“This can delay our initial hay cutting,” she said.

Corriher-Olson said ryegrass can be controlled with herbicides.

“Spraying is probably the most common control method,” she said. “As with any herbicide application, timing is critical along with following label directions.”

Prowl H2O, or pendimethalin, is a good pre-emergent herbicide labeled for dormant Bermuda grass and Bahia grass pastures and hay meadows. Treatments should be applied prior to rainfall, she said, to enhance soil incorporation and herbicide activation.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, and Pastora, which includes nicosulfuron and metsulfuron, are two postemergent herbicide options.

Ideally, ryegrass needs to be sprayed when plants are less than 6 inches in height in the fall, but second applications are recommended in February or March, Corriher-Olson said.

“Annual ryegrass is generally susceptible to postemergence herbicides in early winter prior to freezing temperatures and before seed-head emergence,”she said. “Unfortunately for Bahia grass growers, there are no selective herbicides available for postemergence control of annual ryegrass.”

Spot treatments of glyphosate are recommended in Bahia grass for control, she said. For rates and any restrictions refer to product labels.

Producers can control ryegrass by grazing it, she said.

“If your hay meadow happens to be fenced and has a good source of water, grazing can be an excellent way to utilize a high-quality forage and remove it from the meadow,” Corriher-Olson said.

Ryegrass also can be baled for hay, she said.

Baleage, or haylage, is forage baled at 50-60 percent moisture. It should then be preserved in an airtight plastic wrap as single bales or one long tube. This requires specialized equipment and diligence in maintaining the integrity of the plastic wrap.

Harvesting for a dry bale product can be tricky during wet springs, she said.

“A lot of people clear hay meadows of volunteer grasses and weeds during their first cutting,” she said. “They may be battling ryegrass, and many consider that a ‘trash cutting’ because they value warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass. But ryegrass is a very good forage under the right conditions.”

Another way to fight ryegrass is to promote warm-season grasses, she said. Maintaining some substantial Bermuda or Bahia grass stubble, 4 inches or more, could provide some shade to reduce ryegrass seed germination.

Maintaining a higher stubble height can also be beneficial for warm-season perennial forages’ future growing season, Corriher-Olson said. Higher stubble height means more substantial root structure to capture deeper soil moisture and nutrients.

“This may not provide 100 percent control, but competition can help reduce undesired plant growth,” she said.

-30-

Site:   Home   Publications   Market Reports   Sale Reports   Sale Calendar   Cattle & Service Directory   Full Commodities Report   Services   About Us   Contact Us

Article Categories:   All   Industry News   Herd Health   Feed & Nutrition   Pastures & Forages   Reproduction   Marketing   Columnists   Production   Genetics & Performance   Weather Forecast   Breed News   Producer Feature Stories   Items of Interest   New Products   Recipes

User:   Login   Logout   Register/Profile   Submit Market Report   Submit Sale Report