Drying off perennial ryegrass pastures

Drying off perennial ryegrass over summer and re-starting it again in the autumn can provide savings in years when water is scarce.

The success of this strategy will depend on a number of factors such as summer rainfall, soil types, species, residual pasture, grazing management and oversowing. 

While there is no guarantee of success, your chances of getting the pasture back into production quickly and for a minimal cost will be greatly improved if you have favourable summer conditions and apply a combination of management strategies for re-establishment of pasture.

Key Messages

  • Drying off perennial ryegrass can provide savings in years when water is scarce if successful
  • Leave 4-6 cm of residual pasture and ensure the survival of the growing point the plant
  • Keep stock off the pasture during the summer period
  • Irrigation over summer may improve re-establish, however it may not be viable in most years
  • Oversowing can help to fill in any gaps at re-establishment.