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Hybrid Rye Planting and Management Tips


Hybrid rye is bred to produce high-yielding rye cereal grain and forage with low incidences of ergot, thanks to its trait of shedding pollen within a short period of time. Research shows it is effective for weed suppression, nutrient scavenging, and as an animal feed ration component. Here are some tips for growing and managing hybrid rye.

Planting Time:Plant during September in southern Minnesota for best tillering and grain yields when soil temperatures at seeding depth are below 59° F. (You can plant into early October, but you may experience grain-yield decline.)

For areas farther south, plant in September through mid October.

Planting Rate: Planting rate varies with planting date. Earlier plantings results in greater tillering, so they can be seeded at lower rates. Planting at rates too high will decrease the numbers of tillers that form. Farmers should calibrate their drills or any other seeding tool to deliver the optimum suggested seeds per acre, per square foot, or per lineal foot of row (see Tables 1 & 2). You can use less precise calibration by taking the total number of pounds of seed and dividing it by the planned planted acres. Then choose the machinery manufacturer’s setting to deliver that weight of seed per acre. Check acres planted with the first box load of the drill, Brillion, or broadcast seeder to check the accuracy of the setting.

Table 1. Hybrid rye seeding rates by seeding dates in the Upper Midwest.              

 

Planting window

 

Sept. 1 - 15

Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

All KWS hybrid ryes

Planting rate

 

Seeds/A

Seeds/ft2

ALSeed Units/A

Seed/A

Seeds/ft2

ALSeed Units/A

 

600,000

13.8

1.2

800,000

18.4

1.6

 

Table 2. Average number of seeds per foot of row for different drill row spacings and plant seeding rates per acre.

Drill row width

Seeds per unit area

 

600,000/A (equal to) 13.8 seeds/ft2

800,000/A (equal to) 18.4 seeds/ft2

Seeds per linear foot of row

6.5 “

7.5

9.9

7.0 “

8.0

10.7

7.5”

8.6

11.5

 

Planting Depth: Seed at 0.75 to0.8 inch deep.

Plant Growth: Hybrid rye produces 8 to 20 tillers per plant. Each tiller represents a potential head of rye the following spring. Spring tillers can also produce viable seed heads, but are much less desirable than fall tillers, as they may set heads and pollinate later than the majority of the tillers, increasing their exposure to ergot spores. The goal is to get rye planted early, evenly, and at an optimum population to allow maximum fall tillering. With a uniform, dense stand of rye in the spring, few spring tillers will form.

Pollination and Ergot: A field of hybrid rye sheds pollen in a very short period of time – in a matter of hours. You may even notice a “dust cloud” of pollen over the field during pollen shed. In addition, the KWS hybrids we feature at Albert Lea Seed are Pollen Plus varieties, which produce more pollen than open-pollinated varieties. Why is this significant? It’s all about ergot infection. Once rye flowers are pollinated, they close immediately and are no longer susceptible to ergot spores.

Spring tillers are prone to head and shed pollen later than fall-formed tillers, which means that spring tillers increase the potential for ergot exposure in the entire rye stand. Even a small number of the black ergot sclerotia in a field can contaminate the harvested grain, making it unsuitable for food or feed. The goal should be to plant hybrid early, evenly, and at an optimum population to allow for maximum fall tillering. With a uniform, dense stand of rye in the spring, few spring tillers will form.

Fertility needs: Hybrid Rye pH, N, P and K Requirements

  • pH: Hybrid rye tolerates a range of pH – from 5.5 up to 7.5.
  • Phosphorus and Potassium: Crop removal rates for a bushel of rye grain are somewhat lower for phosphorus (P) and comparable for potassium (K) to removal rates per bushel of winter wheat. Because hybrid rye yields are higher than those for wheat, total P and K requirements per acre will be greater for hybrid rye. Rye grain removes 0.187 pounds of P and 0.256 pounds of K per bushel of yield (https://plants.usda.gov/npk/NutrientReport).  Additional K is recommended, however, to support the vegetative growth of the crop. We suggest P and K rates of 20 pounds per acre of P and 40-50 pounds per acre of K. Rates should be increased for soils testing lower than in the optimal range.
  • Nitrogen: Nitrogen (N) requirement is 1.12 pounds per bushel of hybrid rye grain. Account for N credit from previous N-fixing crops and manure applications. Before calculating additional N fertility needs, apply N credits for soybeans, forage, and cover crop legumes and manure as you would before corn. For forage yield, apply 100-120 pounds per acre of total N to ensure both high protein and high forage yield. Apply 20-30 pounds of N per acre in the fall, with the remainder applied in the spring while the rye is still vegetative and before stem elongation begins. If you’re spreading manure, apply it all in the fall to make the nitrogen available both in the fall and in very early spring.

 

Variety Selection:  Albert Lea Seed carries two grain-type hybrids (Bono and Brasetto) and one forage-type hybrid (Progas). The grain types, however, may also be harvested for silage or hay or may be grazed.

 

Table 3. Grain yield performance in the upper Midwest for hybrid and selected open-pollinated rye varieties.

 

 

2017

2018

 

 

U. Minn.*

North Dakota State U.**

North Dakota State U.

U. Wisc.***

Variety

 

Lamberton, Le Center, St. Paul, Kimball, Crookston

Wishek

(s. central)

Hettinger

(southwest)

Carrington

(west central)

Arlington

(s. central)

 

conventional

convent.

convent.

organic

convent.

convent.

 

 

 

2017

(over 4 sites)

3 yr. ave.

(over 5 sites)

Hrvst7/26/

2017

no multi-yr data

Hrvst

7/24/

2017

3 yr. ave.

Hrvst

7/23/

2018

2 yr ave.

Hrvst

7/23/

2018

3 yr ave.

Harvested 7/18/2018

Hybrids

Best use

bu/A

Bono

grain

125.5

104.9

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

120 bc

Brasetto

grain

116.2

93.7

33.4

-----

97.8

-----

85.5

84.0

58.8

-----

122 ab

Progas

forage

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

Propower

forage

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

BInntto

grain

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

126 ab

Daniello

grain/forage

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

112 c

Doloro

grain

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

130 a

Serafino

grain

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

123 ab****

O.P.s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ND Dylan

grain, cover crop

71.7

-----

24.0

-----

74.5

74.7

71.3

73.0

60.2

62.5

-----

Hazlet

grain, cover crop

88.2

70.1

24.6

-----

84.9

-----

76.0

77.6

55.1

58.1

-----

Aroostook

cover crop

52.3

37.6

14.9

-----

53.2

51.0

47.0

46.4

29.1

36.4

-----

LSD(0.10)

 

8

11

5.0

-----

5.6

-----

4.2

-----

6.5

-----

-----

*University of Minnesota Report, including yields for each of five sites, available at: https://www.maes.umn.edu/sites/maes.umn.edu/files/2017_winter_rye_final.pdf

** North Dakota State University Reports available at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/varietytrials/?b_start:int=0

*** University of Wisconsin Report available at: https://coolbean.info/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/10/Rye-grain.pdf

****Results followed by the same letters are statistically the same

Table 4. Forage yields for two forage-types hybrid rye varieties and several grain-type open pollinated varieties.

 

 

2018

 

 

U of Wisconsin-----Arlington Research Center*

 

 

Harvest date and plant growth stage at harvest

 

 

5/23—heading (5/29 for Trical 815)

6/22----kernel milky ripe

Hybrids

 

CP

DM

RFQ Relative Feed Quality

CP

DM

RFQ Relative Feed Quality

 

 

%

tons/A

 

%

tons/A

 

Daniello

 

16.4 A**

2.85 DE

139.8 A

6.9 E

5.47 B

100.4 C

Progas

 

15.3 B

3.05 D

132.3 AB

7.5 DE

5.70 AB

110.3 C

Propower

 

13.8 C

3.00 DE

123.3 B

7.1 E

5.84 A

108.8 C

Trical 815

 

15.9 AB

2.68 E

135.0 AB

8.5 D

4.45 C

98.9 C

 

2017

 

NDSU------- Carrington Research Center***

O.P.s

Harvest

Vigor****

Stand

Heading date

Plant ht

Harvest H2O

Dry matter yield

 

date

 

%

 

In.

%

Tons/A

Rymin

June 8

7.0

96.3

June 2

38.6

70.4

2.29

ND Dylan

June 8

8.0

98.8

June 2

43.1

68.0

2.72

Dacold

June 8

4.3

93.8

June 6

44.7

69.3

2.43

Aroostook

June 1

2.3

80.0

May 28

34.4

73.6

1.79

Wheeler

June 8

3.5

88.8

June 5

44.4

70.0

2.07

LSD (0.10)

 

1.5

5.8

 

2.8

2.0

0.29

 

*University of Wisconsin 2018 full report available at: https://coolbean.info/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/10/Hybrid-rye-silage.pdf

**Results within the same column followed by the same letters are statistically the same

***North Dakota State University 2017 full report available at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/varietytrials/carrington-rec/2017-trial-results/2017-trial-results-forages-winter-rye-carrington/view

****Vigor: 1=worst   10=best

                                                                                   

Authors

Margaret Smith, Agronomist, Albert Lea Seed

Claus Nymand, Product Manager - Hybrid Rye North America, KWS Cereals USA LLC

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