Italian Ryegrass is one of the fastest growing grasses available to farmers, has rapid establishment and starts growing early in the following Spring and has fast regrowth after defoliation. It thrives on a variety of soil and is mainly used for conservation in short duration leys. Italian Ryegrass helps protect the soil from erosion during winter and its extensive root system helps collect the minerals. It is particularly good at lifting the nitrates in the soil and releasing them slowly to the following crop. Italian ryegrass is often combined with Red Clover as this also collects nitrogen.