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Annual Ryegrass as a Cover Crop in Midwest Corn and Soybean Production – Management Recommendations

Annual ryegrass is a vigorous cool-season grass with an extensive root system. As a cover crop, annual ryegrass helps prevent erosion, builds soil organic matter, improves soil tilth, captures residual nitrogen, and can significantly increase the rooting depth of corn and soybeans. Using annual ryegrass as a cover crop requires proper management. It must be seeded in a timely manner, at the proper rates and it must be controlled on time so that it does not compete with corn or soybeans. This guide covers the management practices essential to growing a successful annual ryegrass cover crop – time tested strategies from more than 13 years of on-farm testing in the Midwest.

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