Annual ryegrass as a cover crop

Encyclopedia Article

Lolium multiflorum

Type: cool season annual grass

Pros: moderate potential to scavenge nutrients, suppress weeds, improve soil health, prevent erosion

Overwintering potential: no

Planting date: late July through October

Seeding depth: 0.25” to 0.5” – rainfall/soil moisture needed to get good establishment

Seeding rate: drilled = 10 – 15 pounds per acre; overseeded = 15 – 20 pounds per acre

Annual ryegrass seedling. Photo courtesy of M. Licht, Iowa State University. 

* based on typical use timing in a corn and soybean cropping system.

References and Resources

SARE. 2007. Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd edition. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, College Park, MD.

MCCC. 2020. Cover Crop Selector Tool. Midwest Cover Crops Council, West Lafayette, IN.