There are nearly 3 million acres of Annual & Gulf Annual Ryegrass in the United States, with about 90 percent used for winter pasture in the Southeast. About 80 percent of this ryegrass pasture is established by overseeding into warm season perennial grasses to extend the grazing season.
Annual Ryegrass is also grown for silage and hay on poorly drained soils where small grains are not adapted. In the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, Annual Ryegrass is used to interseed corn and other row crops to absorb excess nitrogen, reduce erosion after row crop harvest and provide winter feed.
In the northern United States and Canada it is grown as a summer annual, typically as a quick cover lawn grass. Often it serves as a “nurse” crop for the slower germinating and establishing lawn grass species.
Smaller amounts are used for roadside stabilization, as a cover crop for reducing soil erosion and as a green manure crop to provide organic matter for improved soil structure.
Interestingly, Annual Ryegrass is also used for fish feed in China. Grass-eating species of carp are fed hand-harvested Annual Ryegrass.
-The above information comes directly from the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Seed Commission brochure. It has some great information about annual ryegrass so be sure to check it out.
General information about the uses and benefits of annual ryegrass.