Quicker Transition to No-Till
When a grower changes to no-till or acquires a farm that is new to no-till, it commonly takes up to 5 years for key soil properties (aggregate stability, organic matter, increased infiltration, pore space, fungi, etc) to occur. Adding Annual Ryegrass can reduce this transition period by half.
Growers applying manure are being required to apply manure in a more environmentally friendly fashion. Using Annual Ryegrass could help keep the nitrogen in the soil profile and available for the crop the following year.
Increased Water Infiltration
The extensive and deep root system that Annual Ryegrass develops opens pathways for increased water infiltration.
Annual Ryegrass is a vigorous seedling that quickly forms a cover to compete with winter annual weeds.
Growers who plant after wheat or corn silage may be able to take a cutting of Annual Ryegrass haylage in the fall (possibly in the spring, too) and then no-till plant into the Annual Ryegrass. Growers in southern Ohio, Indiana Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri may be able to graze the Annual Ryegrass over winter or take a cutting of haylage in the spring.