Combat Short Term Ryegrass with cows in paddock

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Combat Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)

Combat is a diploid Italian ryegrass with high production rates in winter and early spring, so is well suited to a wide range of farming enterprises.

Key Features

  • Ideal for oversowing run-down pasture
  • Excellent pasture quality and palatability
  • Very good recovery from grazing and cutting
  • Suited to a wide range of fertility levels and soil profiles

Plant Characteristics

  • Densely tillered and well suited to bulk hay or silage
  • Establishes very quickly


  • Combat is a mid-flowering Italian variety designed to produce DM well into spring and summer. If conditions are favourable may persist in a second season. Days to flowering relative to Nui (0) = +6

Where can I grow it?

  • Medium to high rainfall zones
  • Suitable for irrigation or dryland

Sowing Rate

  • 20-25 kg/ha

Blend Rate

  • 5-10 kg/ha

Seed Size

  • 500,000-600,000 seeds per kg (Source: Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2006-2007, Bev Zurbo, 2006)

Frequently Asked Questions

Combat is well adapted to a wide range of fertility levels and soil profiles, but peforms best in a well-drained loam. To maximise stand productivity, soil testing is advisable. Analyse soil and neutralise deficiencies with fertiliser and/or lime.

Good base rates of phosphorus are necessary for maximum DM production especially during the establishment phase. DM production is directly related to nitrogen availability. Consult your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist or fertiliser advisor for nitrogen application rates.

Diploid ryegrass has relatively smaller seed (compared to tetraploid ryegrass) and may be sown at a lighter rate. Sow at 20-25kg/ha alone or 5-10kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Suitable for oversowing into an established stand. Sow seed no deeper than 1cm in a fine but firm seed bed. Pasture productivity is directly related to successful plant establishment.

During emergence it is essential to monitor regularly for damage from insects such as RLEM and lucerne flea, and spray as required. Inspect during early stand life for populations of black-headed cockchafer and slugs. Contact your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for spray application rates.

Combat seedlings germinate quickly and are very competitive once established. Always use a knockdown herbicide to ensure you are sowing into a clean seedbed. Monitor for post-emergent weeds and spray as required. Use options such as spray- grazing for broadleaf weeds.

Do not graze Combat until the plant is well anchored and root depth is established. Carry out a quick in-paddock ‘grab test’ by hand to ensure stock cannot pull plants out of the ground. Combat should be rotationally grazed to maintain 2-3 leaves per tiller. If the stand is allowed to grow beyond the three-leaf stage, it may run to head earlier and there will be a proportional reduction in quality and productivity.

Biennial diploids maintain grazing quality late into the season. Combat ryegrass is ideal for high-quality hay production.

To optimise livestock weight gain and health, ensure livestock are vaccinated and drenched. Prevent nutritional problems by making gradual diet changes when introducing hungry stock to lush pastures. Contact an Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for more information.

Combat 2019
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