Albion tetraploid perennial ryegrass is changing the way we think about forages in hot, humid, drought stressed climates. Perennial ryegrass is known for its highly nutritional qualities and also for its susceptibility and poor performance under drought stress, limiting its use to cooler more moderate climates. Now there is an exception to the rule, Albion tetraploid perennial ryegrass – thriving in the traditional ‘tall fescue only’ regions – completely reshaping the adaptability maps.
These photos were taken August 20 at a field day held on Jeremy Sweeten’s farm this summer. ‘The fields had been under drought stress at the time, about the only place in Indiana under drought stress this summer‘, according to Steve Houghton. ‘It [Albion] was lush and growing–the Italians were stunted, chlorotic, and not producing’.
Sweeten had been observing the resilience of Albion particularly as other fields were fading. Reluctant to take a full cutting from his best field and risk adding additional stress, he took a partial from one side to ensure he would have forage left in the field for a later time. He was more than pleasantly surprised with the regrowth from the portion he cut and now wishes he’d harvested the entire field.
Grasses/ Lonestar Annual Ryegrass
Lifespan: A = Annual; B = Biennial; P = Perennial
Tolerates well or is useful for
Is somewhat tolerant or is somewhat useful for
Is not tolerant or should not be used for
|Nitrogen Fixation||Ability to fix nitrogen into your soil for your subsequent cash crops to utilize as fertilizer for growth and energy|
|Weed Suppression||Ability to suppress weeds by shading soil and releasing allelopathic chemicals|
|Beneficial Insectary||Ability to attract beneficial insects and reduce your reliance on costly insecticides|
|Forage Quality||Ability to improve forage quality by suppressing weeds and providing highly nutritious forage|
|Nutrient Recycling||Ability to store excess nutrients from cash crops for use in subsequent plantings|
|Quick Regrowth||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|
|Nematode Resistance||Ability to suppress the growth of nematodes by interrupting their reproductive cycles|