"Ocala"—A New Diploid Annual Ryegrass for the Southern US1

A. R. Blount, G. M. Prine, K. E. Kenworthy, P. Mislevy, J. C. Jones, and P. E. Reith 2

Ocala, a new UF annual ryegrass, has excellent disease resistance and sufficient cold tolerance to be grown successfully in the southern annual ryegrass region of the US. Ocala was tested experimentally as M/FL X2004 (New4) LRCT. It is a well-adapted, diploid annual ryegrass population that was developed jointly between G. M. Prine in Gainesville and A. R. Blount at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy and Marianna. Parentage includes several advanced experimental annual ryegrass populations for Florida and Nebraska.

Cold Tolerance: Ocala has good cold tolerance and should be adapted over the entire annual ryegrass belt. Mild winters at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna indicated similar cold tolerance to that of Marshall ryegrass.

Disease Ratings: Ocala has excellent crown rust resistance and some resistance to gray leaf spot and Helminthosporium leaf spot diseases.

Dry Matter Yields: Ocala yielded above average in 16 of 27 Southeastern ryegrass trials and was among the top 5 highest yielding entries of 5 trials. In 2004–2005 and 2005–2006 trials, Ocala yielded above-average dry matter yields at locations in Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas.

This new variety is widely adapted over the Southeastern ryegrass belt. Results from Georgia and Florida regional trials can be found at http://www.swvt.uga.edu/2011/sm11/AP100-3-RyegrassF.pdf.

This diploid ryegrass has good cold tolerance for mild winters in the southern Coastal Plains of the U.S. and areas of similar climate. Ocala also has excellent resistance to crown rust, improved resistance to stem rust, and good resistance to gray leaf spot and Helminthosporium leaf spot disease. Marketing and distribution of seed are through American Grass Seed Producers, Tangent, OR (by phone: 541- 926-4611 or on the web: http://agsp.us/).


1. This document is SS-AGR-356, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2011. Reviewed December 2017. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. A. R. Blount, professor, Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center; G. M. Prine, professor emeritus, Agronomy Department; K. E. Kenworthy, associate professor, Agronomy Department; P. Mislevy, professor emeritus, UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC; J. C. Jones, biological scientist, UF/IFAS NFREC; and P. E. Reith, biological scientist, Agronomy Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.