Italian ryegrass generally grows productively for two years. It is relatively inexpensive and fulfils a number of roles. Short term mixtures for conservation. It has a long growing season and can be grazed early in spring and late in the autumn. It is often used as “catch crop” – under sown in spring cereals at 5kg/acre and grazed in the autumn. It is very responsive to nitrogen.
This is a highly productive ryegrass which grows for one year. It is used mainly as a nurse crop for long term ryegrass mixtures added to the mix at around 2kg per acre. This inclusion can boost the grass production in its post season and may permit a light cut of silage/haylage in its first year. It can also be sown on its own at 10-12 kg per acre as an arable break crop. It is most suited to cutting as can become stemmy if grazed.
Mustard is regarded as the most popular and dependable green manure. It is very easy to establish and is fast growing. Sown at 3kg per acre, it will provide a large crop of green manure after only 8 – 10 weeks. Alternatively a longer term green manure can be in the form of red clover. It requires a minimum of 6 months to bulk up adequately but its extensive tap root system makes a wonderful job of conditioning heavy soils as well as contributing green manure. Sown at 4 – 5 kg per acre.
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