Phantom Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
Phantom is an annual tetraploid ryegrass selected for maximum dry matter production during winter and spring.
Where can I grow it?
Frequently Asked Questions
Phantom is best suited to well-drained loam soil types but adapts to a wide range of fertility levels and soil profiles. Phantom tolerates ‘wet feet’ typical of heavy clay soils. Tetraploids will cope with waterlogging for short periods of time provided the growing tip is above water. 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.
Sow at 25-30kg/ha alone or 5-15kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Sow seed no deeper than 1cm in a fine but firm seed bed. Sow into bared ground if direct drilling. Lightly harrow and roll to improve germination. Suitable for oversowing into an established stand. Pasture productivity is directly related to successful plant establishment.
Phantom has good resistance to rust and other pasture diseases. 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.
Phantom is very competitive as both a seedling and established plant. 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 Phantom 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. Phantom 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.
Tetraploids such as Phantom have 4 sets of chromosomes per cell resulting in bigger, darker leaves. This increased cell size has higher sugar and moisture content which is more palatable and digestible than diploid varieties.
To optimise livestock weight gain and health, ensure livestock are vaccinated and drenched. To prevent nutritional problems, make gradual diet changes when introducing hungry stock to lush pastures. Contact an Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for more information.