The effect of delayed autumn harvest on the survival of varieties of perennial ryegrass


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The reactions of five early and five late varieties of perennial ryegrass to stimulation of bulky autumn growth and deferment of harvesting were compared in terms of spring growth and subsequent recovery during three winters. Winterkill was marked in 1971–72, particularly when harvesting was deferred to late November, in early varieties S24 and Presto Pajbjerg and in the late variety S23. Least affected among early varieties were Premo and Barvestra (tetraploid) and among late varieties, Perma and Barpastra (tetraploid). All varieties showed rapid recovery. The results are discussed in terms of the significance of winterkill, and the effects of age of sward, variety susceptibility and deferment of autumn defoliation. It is concluded that the form of winterkill which occurs in the west of Scotland can have serious consequences to farm productivity in severe winters. Autumn growth left standing into November can also lead to winterkill. Under good management, varietal differences are unimportant. In a severe winter, no varieties of perennial ryegrass are reliable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - Dec 1976


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