Information Sheet - Rye, Winter Cereal in Ontario Field Crops

Eastern Canada cover crop selector tool

Planting Information
Drilled Seeding Depth ¾-1½ inch [2- 3.8 cm]
Drilled Seeding Rate 60-110 lb/ac [67-123 kg/ha]
Broadcast and incorporated rate should be 10 - 20% higher than drilled rate. Increase seeding rate in late fall.
Aerial seeding rate Recommended at least 25% higher than drilled rate.
Seeds per lb 18160 (metric: 40,000 )
Frost Seed No
Termination Information
Termination Methods Tillage, Mow, Herbicide, Roller Crimper
Termination Comments If terminating with only tillage, multiple passes often required; Crimp during reproductive stage (milk or dough stage)
Performance Roles
Legume Nitrogen Source Poor
N scavenger + N holder Excellent
Organic matter/soil builder Excellent
Compaction Fighter Very Good
Water Erosion Fighter Excellent
Wind Erosion Fighter Excellent
Weed Fighter Excellent
Winter Survival Never
Winter Kill Never
Quick Growth Very Good
Lasting Residue Very Good
Quick Residue Breakdown Poor - Mature crops are slower to decompose. Manage termination accordingly.
Potential Biofumigant Poor
Forage Harvest Very Good
Seed Harvest Very Good
Interseed with Cash Crop Excellent
Total Nitrogen 0 [N/A]
Dry Matter per year 2500-6000 [2800-6700 kg/ha] - Dry matter and N content depends on amount of crop growth and maturity.
Comments Tolerates triazine herbicides; One of the latest seeded cover crops; Lasting residue increases as cover crop approaches maturity
Cultural Traits
Scientific Name Secale cereale
Life Cycle Cool Season Annual
Growth Habit Upright
Prefered Soil pH 5.0-7.0
Relative Costs (per area) 1
Min. Germination Temp. 34F/1C
Heat Tolerance Fair
Drought Tolerance Very Good
Shade Tolerance Good
Flood Tolerance Good
Low Fertility Tolerance Excellent
Potential Advantages, these are general, tentative ratings
Loosen subsoil Good
Makes P&K more available to crops Poor
Loosens Topsoil Very Good
Soil Ecology - Suppresses Nematodes Fair
Soil Ecology - Suppresses Disease Good, check for specific diseases
Weed Control - Allelopathy Excellent
Weed Control - Chokes Weeds Excellent
Attracts Beneficials Fair
Takes foot or vehicle traffic Very Good
Short Windows Excellent, growth in a short time period
Comments Non host for root knot nematode, soybean cyst nematode and sugarbeet cyst nematode.
Potential Disadvantages (these are general ratings)
Volunteer Establishment (includes hard seed) Rarely a problem
Weed Potential Could be moderate problem, includes hard seed, likelihood to produce seed or survive termination
Insects/Nematodes/Slugs Could be a minor problem
Crop Disease Occasionally a problem, check for specific diseases
Establishment Challenges Rarely a problem
Challenges incorporating mature residues Could be a major problem
Comments Can become a weed if tilled at wrong stage; Best if killed early; Not recommended before corn; Mow-kills after heading. Host for Penetrans Root-Lesion Nematode; Could increase risk of spring cut worm and potato stem borer.

The ability to achieve goals depends on appropriate situation and proper management.