Annual and perennial ryegrasses have provided important pasture, hay, and silage for livestock in the USA. Recent research on this forage crop has been actively pursued primarily in the southeastern and northwestern parts of the USA. By concerted and coordinated efforts of breeders, farmers, commercial enterprises, plant physiologists, entomologists, and agronomists, this resource has increased in acreage, usefulness, and adaptability for specific purposes.
Successes have resulted from efforts by many different disciplines. There have been significant improvements in cultivars available for use, in the development of adapted cultivars for new areas, and in improved management options.
It is appropriate that our new knowledge of this important resource be integrated with previous knowledge and brought together in one place to provide a landmark in the forward progress of this important crop. This volume provides just such a landmark for researchers and for the animal production industry both in this country and abroad.
During the 20th century, there has been an ever-increasing use of Lolium sp. as forage for domestic livestock and wildlife in the USA. Annual ryegrass (L. multiflorum Lam.) is most often used to complement warm-season perennial pastures from Texas and Oklahoma southward to the Gulf Coast and eastward to the Atlantic seaboard. More than I million ha of annual ryegrass pastures are used in the southeastern USA. With about 52% of the beef cow herd located in 13 to 14 southeastern states, sustainable, high quality forage for pasture, hay, and/or silage are necessary for economic survival of these related industries. Improvements in disease resistance, winter hardiness, dry matter production, and seed yield have allowed for expansion of pasture acreage of annual ryegrass. Although perennial ryegrass (L. perenne L.) has a wide and extended adaptation for turf, the primary pasture use of this species is in the Pacific Northwest, irrigated intermountain valleys, Midwest, and northeastern USA. Most of the commercial seed production of annual and perennial ryegrass occurs in Oregon, and especially the Willamette Valley. In 1996, more than 50 000 ha each of these two Lolium species were harvested for commercial seed purposes.
This special publication provides the most comprehensive review to date of research on annual ryegrass in the USA. The multiple authors of each chapter provide an authoritative, base foundation to previous and current developments in plant breeding, soil-plant nutrient relationships, physiology and ecology, forage quality and livestock use, and biological and economic seed production. The in-depth discussions in these specific areas of ryegrass growth, development, and use will be a valuable complement and extension to the ASA Monograph 34 entitled, Cool-Season Forage Grasses.
This special publication consists of eight chapters and will be useful to research, extension, and teaching professionals, as well as managers and producers as they implement application of previous research and seek opportunities for future improvements to Lolium for forage, site stabilization, and aesthetic purposes.
L. R. Nelson
F. M. Rouquette, Jr.
G. W. Evers
Texas A&M University, Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Overton, Texas
D. M. Ball, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849
Reed E. Barker, Research Geneticist, National Forage Seed Production Research Center, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR 97331-7102
D. I. Bransby, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849
Marty Chaney, Pasture Specialist, NRCS, Tacoma, WA 98402
T. G. Chastain, Associate Professor, Department of Crop Physiology and Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
S. M. Griffith, Plant Physiologist, National Forage Seed Production Research Center. USDA- ARS, Corvallis, OR 97331-7102
W. C. Ellis, Professor and Animal Nutritionist, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2471
G. W. Evers, Professor and Forage Physiologist, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Overton, TX 75684
S. L. Fales, Professor, Department of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
S. C. Fransen, Associate Professor, Puyallup Research & Extension Center, Washington State University, Puyallup, WA 98371
Vincent A. Haby, Professor and Soil Chemist, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Overton, TX 75684
M. H. Hall, Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
David B. Hannaway, Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
C. S. Hoveland, Terrell Distinguished Professor of Soil and Crop Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
Irvin H. Jacob, Plant Breeder, Cascade International Seeds, Aumsville, OR 97325
Stephen W. Johnson, Plant Breeder, International Seeds, Halsey, OR 97348
Woody Lane, Animal Nutritionist, Lane Livestock Services, Roseburg, OR 97470
H. Lippke, Associate Professor and Ruminant Nutritionist, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Uvalde, TX 78801
L. R. Nelson, Professor and Ryegrass Breeder. Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Overton, TX 75684
T. D. Phillips, Associate Professor and Plant Breeder. Department of Agronomy, University of Kentucky. Lexington, KY 40506
Marvin E. Riewe, Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research Station. Angleton, TX 77515
D. L. Robinson, Formerly Professor, Department of Agronomy, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Currently, Professor and Resident Director, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Vernon. TX 76384
F. M. Rouquette, Jr., Professor and Forage Physiologist, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Overton. TX 75684
G. R. Smith, Professor and Clover Breeder, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Overton. TX 75684
C. E. Watson, Professor and Plant Breeder, Experimental Statistics, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9653
William C. Young III, Associate Professor and Extension Seed Production Specialist, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 Conversion Factors for SI and non-S1 Units