Westerwolds and Italian offer a short term highly productive option for primarily silage. They are both cost effective and westerwolds has the potential to be ready to cut 12 weeks post sowing with subsequent cuts taken at 6 week intervals. If quantity is the main driving force over the short term they both present very good options.

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Italian ryegrass generally grows productively for two years. It is relatively inexpensive and fulfils several roles although it is best suited to short term conservation. It has a long growing season and can be grazed early in the spring and late in the autumn. It is often used as a catch “crop”- under sown in spring cereals at 5kgs/acre and grazed in the autumn. It is very responsive to nitrogen.

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It is a highly productive annual which offers maximum production in one year. It is fast to establish offering the potential for a cut after 12 weeks with subsequent cuts following in 6 week intervals. Generally due to its upright growth habit it is utilised for conservation although it can be grazed. It is increasingly being used as a winter green manure being an effective holder of nitrogen and will be the first grass to start growing in the Spring offering a valuable bite before other grasses get going.

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