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Annual ryegrass

Annual ryegrass, also multi-cut ryegrass, (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) is a fodder crop related to perennial cereal grasses.

Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
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©Stefan.lefnaer (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Economic importance

Multicutting ryegrass differs from other perennial grasses in its high regrowth rate; under irrigation conditions, it can give 6-7 cuttings or 2-3 seed collections during the growing season in the second year of life.

In grass mixtures it lasts 3-4 years.

It is one of the main components for alfalfa-cereal mixtures of field and special crop rotations used in the south of Russia.

Well suited for grass mixtures with alfalfa in special cotton rotations .

Cultivation areas

It is cultivated in the south of Russia, as well as in the west of Ukraine, Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and the south of Kazakhstan.


The yield of hay in the second year of life with irrigation reaches 20 t/ha, seeds – up to 1400-1500 kg/ha.

Botanical description

Multi-flowered chaff (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) is a perennial cereal plant of a high-growing, loose-bush type.

The root system is fibrous.

Stems erect, 50-120 cm high, well leafy.

Inflorescence – ear.

The fruit is greyish. Weight of 1000 seeds 2.1 g.

Biological features

Winter hardiness and drought resistance are low.


With coverless sowing, it can produce seeds in the first year of life.

The type of development is spring.


Tillage for multicut ryegrass is similar to that for alfalfa.


The seeding rate for continuous row sowing is 11-13 kg/ha, for wide-row sowing – 7-8 kg/ha. According to other recommendations, in clean crops, the seeding rate is 16-18 kg/ha, in a mixture with alfalfa or other perennial legume injuries – 8-10 kg/ha.

Seeding depth 2 cm.


Harvesting for hay begins in the phase of full heading.

Harvesting for seeds is carried out in a separate way in the phase of the beginning of wax ripeness.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

Fundamentals of agricultural production technology. Agriculture and crop production. Ed. V.S. Niklyaev. – M .: “Epic”, 2000. – 555 p.