A new Purdue Extension publication offers producers practical, in-depth information on how to use herbicides to terminate annual ryegrass, an effective but potentially troublesome fall-seeded cover crop.
Cover crops are used to maintain soil health in grain fields between growing seasons, primarily by controlling erosion and holding nutrients in the soil. But some cover crops, including annual ryegrass, can quickly grow out of control, said Travis Legleiter, an Extension weed specialist and one of the authors of Successful Annual Ryegrass Termination with Herbicides.
“The aggressive growth habit and adaptability of annual ryegrass that make it a good cover crop also make it a potential weed if producers do not manage it properly and allow the plant to escape or produce seed,” he said. “While annual ryegrass has shown to be a good cover crop, it is also the most difficult grass cover crop to terminate.”
The publication provides information on selecting the right ryegrass seed, herbicide application timing, herbicide rates and combinations, and the use of adjuvants.