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Lonestar Annual Ryegrass: Winter Hardy Cover Crop and Forage

A quick-growing, versatile cover crop that enhances water infiltration, reduces soil erosion, and suppresses weeds.

Lonestar Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) is rapidly growing in popularity for use as a cover crop in the Midwestern states. It has long been favored as a winter-active companion crop in the Southern U.S., and for seeding into dormant warm-season forages. Lonestar, an improved diploid annual ryegrass variety, was bred for excellent cold tolerance, a high level of disease resistance, seedling vigor, and rapid forage growth.

Nitrogen icon

Nitrogen Fixation

icon erosion

Erosion Control

icon weed

Weed Control

icon compaction

Compacted Soils

icon recycling

Nutrient Recycling

Water Management Icon

Water Infiltration

icon quick growth

Quick Growth

icon forage

Quality Forage

icon nematode

Nematode Control

icon insect

Beneficial Insectary

key benefit

Image Gallery:

Root Structure
Carbon Ratio
Seeds Per Pound
5.0 – 8.0

Planting Instructions:

In Mixes
Seeding Rate:
15-20 lbs./acre (monoculture)
25-30 lbs./acre (monoculture)
Planting Depth:
1/4 – 1/2 inch
Ideal Soil:
Loam to heavy clay soils
Ideal Planting Season:
Fall, Spring if necessary
Lonestar can be planted following a cash crop harvest using a standard grain drill or it can be broadcast into maturing corn or soybeans using an airplane or high clearance air seeder. Alternatively, Lonestar can be inter-seeded into corn at last cultivation in early summer when corn is at the 6 leaf stage.
Forage Quality Ability to improve forage quality by suppressing weeds and providing highly nutritious forage  
Nutrient Recycling Ability to store excess nutrients for use in subsequent cash crops  
Quick Growth Ability to increase soil organic matter by accumulating biomass in a short period of time  
Soil Compaction Ability to increase nutrient uptake and root development by breaking up dense and compacted soil  
Erosion Control Ability to hold soil in place to capture and retain moisture from rainfall and prevent topsoil erosion  
Water Management Ability to increase field productivity by improving the drainage of wet soils  
Weed Suppression Ability to suppress weeds by shading soil and releasing allelopathic chemicals  
Nitrogen Fixation Ability to fix nitrogen into your soil for your subsequent cash crops to utilize as fertilizer for growth and energy  
Beneficial Insectary Ability to attract beneficial insects and reduce your reliance on costly insecticides  
Lonestar, an improved diploid annual ryegrass variety, was bred for excellent cold tolerance, high level of disease resistance, seedling vigor and rapid forage growth.
Heat Ability to tolerate heat stress caused by warm temperatures and/or limited water availability
Drought Ability to tolerate periods of limited water availability
Sub-Freezing Ability to tolerate freezing temperatures for an extended period of time
Shade Ability to tolerate low light conditions caused by plant competition
Flood Ability to tolerate standing water or flooded areas for a limited period of time
Low Fertility Ability to tolerate soils with limited nitrogen, and other mineral resources necessary for growth
Lonestar is an excellent producer of high quality forage. It covers the ground quickly, builds the soil over the winter, and provides abundant early spring feed ideal for grazing, hay or silage.
Protein 13.00% 
Relative Forage Value 146 
Water Soluble Carbohydrates 26.70% 
Total Digestible Nutrients 68% 
Red=Host, Green=Non-host, Yellow=Insufficient Data
Columbia Root Knot  
Northern Root Knot  
Southern Root Knot  
Soybean Cyst  
Sugarbeet Cyst