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Cereal Rye

The hardiest of fall planted cover crops, is the "last chance" crop for late fall plantings.

The hardiest of the cereals, rye can be seeded later in the fall than any other grain or grass. When used as a forage or cover crop, its versatility is hard to beat. Forage quality is decent if cut at flag leaf stage. Rye matures quickly and therefore many times triticale is a better choice for over wintering forage because of its wider harvest window. Seeding rate: 2 bu/acre


The hardiest of fall planted cover crops, is the "last chance" crop for late fall plantings. If planted late, it may not provide much winter cover, but if it has germinated, it will show rapid spring growth, suppressing weeds and providing forage or grain for harvest. If planted early enough, it makes a great winter grazing. Rye is inexpensive and easy to establish. It has a fast growing fibrous root system that can take up and hold residual nutrients. It’s an excellent source of residual ground cover for no-till systems. Note: It can tie up nitrogen as it decomposes so N is not immediately available, so compensate.


Can establish in very cool weather in a variety of soil types. It can be killed by incorporating, spraying, or, after boot stage, by mowing or rolling with a stalk chopper. Rye can deplete soil moisture in a dry spring. In a wet spring, it can overwhelm the next crop with residual. Rye has an allelopathy effect which works on suppressing weeds, but may also stunt a following corn crop.


Drill 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep at 60-200 lbs/A or broadcast or aerial seed into standing corn at the higher rate from early September to November. Use 50-60 lbs/A in mixes.

Zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6