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Rye grass for pastures ?

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  • Rye grass for pastures ?

    Does anyone planted rye grass in there pastures ? How did it work out and are there any dangers specific to rye that I should be aware of ?

  • #2
    We overseed Rye on our Bermuda pastures every fall, but here it's an annual so it has to be replanted every fall. I don't have any specifics for up there.
    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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    • #3
      There's annual rye and perennial rye. Annual rye will spring up and grow TALL, like hay. Perennial rye is more of a short, durable grass and is often used in lawns.

      It is very, very high in fructans and other sugars, especially the annual rye, and therefore might be a little too much for grazing easy keepers.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        We plant the annual rye every winter here. It's a great way to provide year-round grazing.

        As already mentioned, the sugar content is a tad high; our easy keepers have to be given limited access to their winter pasture, spending part of the time on their sacrifice lot with hay.
        Equinox Equine Massage

        In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
        -Albert Camus

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        • #5
          Depending on how far south you are, any rye can become an annual since it will die when the ground temperature gets high enough. Especially when it gets hot and dry for a while like it does here sometimes.

          We plant Marshall rye since it has thicker, wider leaves than what is normally sold around here as "annual rye". We don't depend on it for all the horses forage. They also get hay through the cold weather, but any horse is happier with something to graze on. By the time that the ground gets warm enough for the Bermuda to start growing, the Rye dies.
          www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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          • #6
            I've got quite a few horse pastures which have a large quantity of Italian Rye Grass in the mix

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            • #7
              Specifically to Tom K...(because of location)
              --the current 'grass' in the pastures/turn out on the farmette in Williamsburg VA area 'I' consider/call 'wire grass'...as in a bermuda type, but not true bermuda----more #@$%%&## WEED. But impossible to kill. We tried and tried to get some help from the extension agent, but no such luck. Did get soil sample, so, of course know what to treat dirt with----('dirt' is really SAND)....anyway. We got the 'suggested' pasture mix to 'overseed' but I don't think any of it took... What we really needed was help in knowing HOW to seed into the existing wire grass cover-----irradicate totally? if so, how? overseed? if so, how? etc....But anyway. in re: adding rye to existing warm weather (bermuda) for more continuous year round grazing...may I ask how? you overseed this into bermuda? and when, etc? (since I think NC will be similar to southeastern VA)

              THANKS!
              ayrabz
              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
              --Jimmy Buffett

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              • #8
                I'm not Tom K, but sounds like your location/soil/etc. is quite similar to mine, ayrabz. Did you broadcast-seed your new mix or have it drilled in? We had pretty good luck doing a light-moderate tilling up of the pasture with bermuda-plus-other-crappy-stuff in it, spreading the seed, then spreading composted manure over top of that and dragging a chain harrow behind the spreader to help push the seed in more.

                But we had GREAT results in a smaller paddock where we had a neighbor drill in our new bermuda-bahia mix. All I did was run the aerator (dragged behind the riding mower) over the area a couple of days before he came over. We got much more out of the drilled in seed, and hope to do at least one of our larger turnouts that way this year. So I would recommend that approach over any form of broadcast seeding, based on my experience here.

                The Marshall rye we use for winter grazing does exceptionally well when broadcast anywhere; just dump it into the spreader/aerator, hop on the tractor and go. Comes up great. We start putting it out in the fall when days are no longer blisteringly hot, but the soil is warm enough to encourage germination.
                Equinox Equine Massage

                In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                -Albert Camus

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                • #9
                  The nasty-looking, wiry foxtail/crabgrass type stuff that volunteered in my big pasture after it was scraped down to bare dirt by some overexuberant excavators in a drought summer is the toughest, most durable stuff ever--I wouldn't dream of trying to eliminate it. The horses eat it, too. Good stuff, it's welcome in my fields. Not all volunteers are bad--I have enough volunteer clover to make the pasture quite good, too. The broadleaf herbicide whacks it into submission for a week or two, but it bounces right back. No way am I fighting a war with edible weeds.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                    Specifically to Tom K...(because of location)
                    --the current 'grass' in the pastures/turn out on the farmette in Williamsburg VA area 'I' consider/call 'wire grass'...as in a bermuda type, but not true bermuda----more #@$%%&## WEED. But impossible to kill. We tried and tried to get some help from the extension agent, but no such luck. Did get soil sample, so, of course know what to treat dirt with----('dirt' is really SAND)....anyway. We got the 'suggested' pasture mix to 'overseed' but I don't think any of it took... What we really needed was help in knowing HOW to seed into the existing wire grass cover-----irradicate totally? if so, how? overseed? if so, how? etc....But anyway. in re: adding rye to existing warm weather (bermuda) for more continuous year round grazing...may I ask how? you overseed this into bermuda? and when, etc? (since I think NC will be similar to southeastern VA)

                    THANKS!

                    Bermuda grass is "wire grass" where you don't want it do grow, and gets called by it's real name if it's growing where you want it to. Crabgrass, if left to get away, also falls under wire grass. No other grass that I know of, with the possible exception of Centipede-not a pasture grass, will choke the Bermuda out.

                    I overseed the rye the third week in September-seems to work best. The bermuda will soon after stop growing. I let the bermuda get a little tall before seeding the rye. After the seeds are down, I'll clip the bermuda short to act as a mulch over the seeds and keep the horses from later pulling it up.

                    I'll drill it if the drill is in this end of the county, and if not, I'll broadcast it. 30 lb. per acre if drilled. 50 if broadcast. Broadcasting requires some luck to not get washed away or around.

                    This past fall was broadcast and we had the perfect torrential drizzle for a couple of days sprouting the rye.

                    The horses are kept off until the grass will break without pulling up the roots-like grazing would.

                    If the bermuda is left tall, the horses can pull the roots out of the ground. This is especially a problem with hybrids like Cheyenne. You can have a great stand of Cheyenne one year, let it go dormant without clipping it, and the horses will pull up all the dormant roots and eat it leaving none to return the next Spring.

                    Rye grass doesn't grow in the really cold weather like we have had this Feb., but last week it came back out, our pastures are now a beautiful green, and hay consumption has gone down to less than half what it was in Feb.
                    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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                    • #11
                      Digging up an old thread here:

                      We drill seeded Rye in our pastures last fall, and overseeded rye in parts of the yard.
                      I noticed that everywhere we'd seeded Rye, the Bermuda was not coming back as the spring wore on. A short drought earlier in the spring had me looking at other fields--everywhere that did not have rye planted was still lush and green with Bermuda, but the rye fields were brown. Now that we're getting rain more regularly it's all greening up again, but the conclusion I came to was that the Annual Rye was choking out the Bermuda. Is this the case?

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                      • #12
                        I'll bet it'll come up but maybe a little later. The rye might be shading the ground just enough that the temperature hasn't gotten high enough to suit the bermuda yet. We still have some rye green here now but the bermuda is just now starting to show up even in places it wasn't before.
                        www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Tom--I was hoping you'd chime in here

                          Is annual rye less resistant to drought? It was shocking how different the fields were that had been planted in rye.
                          I find my horses just don't tend to eat it (the rye) either. So I spend a ton of money to put the rye down (ooooh purty!) and still end up feeding just as much hay. Seems a no brainer to just let the bermuda go dormant and leave everything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In N.C. the rye will just plain quit growing and die when the conditions for bermuda get just right-sometimes into the middle of June until it gets really hot for days at a time and the ground warms up.

                            Ours go back and forth from grazing the rye to the hay. As long as they don't pull up the dormant bermuda, it shouldn't matter. If you have some of the newer hybrids like Cheyenne, they will pull it up and you will have none the next year.
                            www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                              Specifically to Tom K...(because of location)
                              --the current 'grass' in the pastures/turn out on the farmette in Williamsburg VA area 'I' consider/call 'wire grass'...as in a bermuda type, but not true bermuda----more #@$%%&## WEED. But impossible to kill. We tried and tried to get some help from the extension agent, but no such luck. Did get soil sample, so, of course know what to treat dirt with----('dirt' is really SAND)....anyway. We got the 'suggested' pasture mix to 'overseed' but I don't think any of it took... What we really needed was help in knowing HOW to seed into the existing wire grass cover-----irradicate totally? if so, how? overseed? if so, how? etc....But anyway. in re: adding rye to existing warm weather (bermuda) for more continuous year round grazing...may I ask how? you overseed this into bermuda? and when, etc? (since I think NC will be similar to southeastern VA)

                              THANKS!
                              Also not Tom King but I know the grass you are speaking of. You have wild bermuda OR you have torpedo grass though I'm thinking you have the first one. Both suck. The only thing that kills it is Roundup but you must spray it 3 times to ensure total kill. Spray and in 3 weeks spray again and repeat. It has underground rhizomes that you must kill and this is the only way to do so. You cannot choke out the existing noxious grass b/c it can and will choke out everything in it's wake. I just did my second application of generic roundup to kill what has taken over my bahia grass yard. I will till, spray again and then finally hydroseed when I see no signs of life. The sod put in our yard had it in it so we were doomed from the get go.
                              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Adding my 2 cents and also a question.

                                annual rye grass does not have endophytes per my farm store. Perennial rye should be purchased endophyte free, and is more expensive than regular perennial rye.

                                Can someone link me to a site where annual rye is high in fructans and sugar? I asked at my farm store and they didn't know.
                                thanks. I did look at safergrass but didn't see any mention specifically about rye. tia
                                save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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                                • #17
                                  From safergrass:

                                  Species like orchard, timothy, fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass have the highest genetic potential for NSC. These grasses are generally consider 'best' due to their relatively higher nutrient content, and palatability. They are prized by horse farms raising 16 hand 2 YO TB's ready for racing, and cattle producers. I have frequently found these to be 25+% under worst case environmental conditions. This is about twice the NSC that an insulin resistant horse should get. No wonder our horses like them! Perennial ryegrass is usually the highest in studies comparing NSC content of grasses in studies done all around the world.
                                  Note and note again that the conditions under which the hay is grown is as important if not more so than the species. I get orchard hay and it is consistently 10-11% NSC (all cuttings) in spite of its being a "potentially bad" hay variety.
                                  Click here before you buy.

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                                  • #18
                                    A lawn of pure rye-grass is very fast growing and coarse and not really suitable for a small garden. Rye-grass mixes are much cheaper than grass for fine lawns, and price is likely to be as accurate an indicator of what you are buying as anything else. In practice, it is pointless making a so-called 'luxury' lawn if you are going to do much more than walk gently across it. If you intend to wheel barrows and ride bikes across it, choose a coarser grass and live with the social shame. The only temptation to avoid is cutting it too short - which most people do
                                    drought resistant grass

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