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Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is of Eurasian and North African origin. It has rapid establishment, relatively high yield, high forage quality, and tolerates a wide range of grazing conditions. It is not well suited for mixture with alfalfa. Snow molds can affect plant persistence if top growth is not removed in the fall. It is not recommended in pure stands for the Northeast USA, due to persistence issues. Management practices and the particular environment conditions of a given site combine to have a significant to devastating effect on persistence. Annual or Italian ryegrass also has limited use in the Northeast region, it is generally used where a rapidly growing emergency crop is needed, or for erosion control in new seedings. Italian ryegrass is very high quality, but it may overwinter it situations where an annual forage was desired. [GIS-11]