Putting Albion to the Test
In the spring of 2014, I put Albion perennial ryegrass out on our farm. Most perennial ryegrass varieties do well in cooler, wetter environments, but when faced with a hot, dry Indiana summer they can go dormant or die. Albion has been touted as being able to grow in the state of Missouri and well adapted to the “Fescue” belt.
My first thoughts were, “Yeah right.” But you have to put your money where your mouth is, so on April 26, 2014 I seeded Albion along with CISCO coated red clover on 4 acres on our farm near Peru, IN. The goal was to put the Albion through real haying and grazing practices.
The field was soybean stubble that was disked twice. The soils are Blount and Morley silty clay loam. It is fairly heavy, wet forest based soil. I seeded with a Brillion seeder and put 25-30 lbs/ac of Albion PRG and 8-10 lbs/ac of red clover. There was no nurse crop used because perennial ryegrass is very aggressive in growth.
Albion Looking Good So Far
The first cutting was taken in early June. Fast forward to July. By mid-July the rain had stopped. On August 7, I had to harvest the field so the regrowth would be presentable on August 20, when I would be hosting a field day at my farm. I was afraid that if I cut the entire field, there wouldn’t be any regrowth to show on the 20th, so I left a test strip. I was wrong.
The orchardgrass in other pastures had stalled, the Italian ryegrass was dormant due to the dry weather. However, the Albion PRG was cruising right along. I was very impressed with it for its first year. It has merit to keep looking at it. I feel that it is a worthy forage to add to some of your acres of pasture. I will post more next season as I take another look at a perennial ryegrass that might just have a home in Indiana.