perennial

Perennial Rye Grass (Lolium Perenne) is also known as English ryegrass that is used around the world. It is a cool-season perennial grass that is native to Asia countries, the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe. The early European pastoralists introduced this grass to many corners of their empires, including Australia, South Africa, North America and elsewhere. Mabberley (1997) suggests that L. perenne was ‘probably the first grass deliberately sown for pastures’. Ryegrass has been sown in many countries and it becomes extremely widespread both as a cultivated species for livestock grazing and for fodder. It is an excellent grass for lawns, turf and useful cover crop for soil stabilization and pasture improvement. It has probably been cultivated in England for about 300 years, and from there, colonists took it to the USA, South Africa, Australasia and elsewhere (Hubbard, 1984). It was deliberately planted in many of these areas and in some places, it has invaded native environments and can threaten native species. It grows in bunches and is not very tolerant of drought or high summer temperatures. L. perenne sprout was quickly and useful in providing quick cover around footpaths, roadsides, tracks, waste places, sand dunes and river beds. Ryegrass improves soil health and it recycles nutrients due to its extensive root system despite the fact ryegrass is less persistent than most cool- season grasses. L.perenne is most productive during spring to autumn if spring grazing is hard enough to limit flower head production without damaging vegetative growth then this can prolong the spring grazing season (Waller and Sale, 2001). In dry summers it can become dormant and if overgrazed at that time of the year the grass may not survive to re-grow in autumn. It may not survive very cold winters (Cool et al., 2004). This grass could be used in erosion control or dune stabilization; land reclamation; landscape improvement; revegetation; soil conservation and; soil improvement.According to TheCattlesite.com (2015) that if alfalfa is the Queen of forages, Ryegrass is the King of forages because it is palatable with high nutritive value. It has excellent yields with good fertility and has a long growing season. Moreover, not everyone used it due to it is less winter hardy than other grasses; Northern Ohio is a best-adapted area of ryegrass. Ryegrass is not as competitive as other grasses and it is difficult to dry for hay.The species has already been introduced to many temperate countries and to higher altitude regions of tropical countries. It could be introduced to yet more places, but as a grass renowned for its productivity, it has probably been tested for its ability to grow almost anywhere. For instance, attempts have been made to grow the grass in higher altitude pastures in Kenya but it did not establish successfully, being susceptible to competition from tropical grasses like Cenchrus clandestinus. (Clayton, 1973; Orodho, 2013).The following paragraph were commented by Beddows (1967) that the possible life-span of plants of L.perenne is unknown, but the population in a well-grazed old pasture is seemingly ‘ageless’. However, he found that plants from such a habitat grown as spaced plants in a breeding nursery did not survive in a vigorous condition for more than two years and had to be regenerated vegetatively. He suggested that the deterioration may be partly because they were allowed to develop inflorescences and reach the hay stage, but may also be due to root disturbance during cleaning operations. He also questions how the species maintains itself in old pastures, because not all inflorescences are grazed back. In general if flowering is prevented or restricted by spring and summer grazing the plants continue to produce vegetative matter.The subsequent paragraph were stated by Cool et al., (2004) that perennial ryegrass grows best on productive, well-drained soils but has a wide range of soil adaptability, and tolerates both acidic and alkaline soils. It responds well to applications of nitrogen and phosphorus, and is moderately tolerant of acid soils although there is a sensitivity to aluminum concentration when soil pH is low. (Waller and Sale 2001)Nitrogen application has been proposed as a measure to improve persistence of perennial ryegrass in intensively grazed dairy pastures (Harris et al., 1996). Sullivan (1992) stated that in the USA, L. perenne is adapted to a wide range of soil types and drainage conditions, including wet or temporarily flooded areas. It can grow in areas up to 2000 m altitude. L perenne is a C3 grass, best suited for growing in temperate climates: its optimum growth temperature is 18-20C (Mitchell, 1956). . As stated by Garwood and Sinclair (1979) some perennial ryegrass cultivars can survive drought for 2 years with cutting, but are not as productive as tall fescue. Its roots are capable draw water from approximately 80 cm deep in the soil. It is sensitive to drought which leads to a reduction in herbage production under mild moisture shortage and dormancy or death under severe drought. It can survive drought periods reasonably well, but this depends on its grazing management before and during the dry period. It is also tolerant of salt spray and is suitable as a pioneer grass of land. (Beddows and Jones, 1958). Over the years, L.perenne must have had huge social benefits, increasing pastoral production and the populations it supports in many countries. It has also, apparently been casually used in folk remedies for cancer, diarrhea, hemorrhage (Duke and Wain, 1981; Duke, 1983), and malaria (List and Horhammer, 1969; Duke, 1983).L. perenne is perfectly suited for biological control as there are a large number of insect pests and diseases that can damage or even kill the grass. However, being an extremely valuable and desirable pasture and turf species, biological control is unlikely to be used. Overgrazing of L. perenne, especially when it is in a dry summer will lead to death of many of the plants and possibly their replacement by other, often weedy grass and herb species.Reference: CABI.(2018, November 19).Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. Retrieved from https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/31166What to Choose When Reseeding Hay and Pasture Fields. (2015, March 04) Retrieved from http://www.thecattlesite.com/articles/4188/what-should-hay-and-pasture-fields-be-reseeded-with/

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