Hybrid Fall Rye Agronomy

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SEEDING RATE

0.8 unit per acre

Seeding rate of each lot will vary depending on seed size and germination = 65-85 ibs per acre (18.3 plants for square foot)

one unit = 1 million viable seeds

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SEED DEPTH

3/4 inches is ideal

Seeding depth is critical to reducing ergot risk

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SEEDING TIMING

 The window for seeding is a bit wider than winter wheat due to much better winter hardiness. If the soil conditions are very dry then it is recommended to wait for moisture to ensure even emergence​

Ergot Management 

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Weed Control

It is recommended to clean the field well before planting. If an in-crop spring application is necessary, it should be done as early as possible and best before the first elongation takes place when hybrid rye is less susceptible to damage from herbicides. The use of MPCA is not recommended for weed control as it can affect the flowering and pollen setting which may lead to ergot development.

Fungicide

Fungicide application will usually not be needed during the growing season. If it is needed – we recommend that it is not applied around flowering time. Rye is an open pollinating crop more susceptible to fungicide sprays than wheat. Rye is more resistant to Fusarium Head Blight than wheat thus reducing the need for fungicide at this stage

Remember all KWS hybrid ryes are PollenPlus hybrids – the best security for good pollination.

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Harvest

Keep an eye on the field during the last 3 weeks before the harvest to observe if, despite careful management, any areas of the field have more ergot than others. If so, leave the more heavily infected areas and harvest them separately so as not to infect the whole grain lot.

Fertility

Ensure all nutrients are available as soon as the regrowth starts in spring. Nitrogen fertilization is normally applied depending on expected yield but can usually be set to about 20% less than what is required by winter wheat.

Tramlines

Always use tramlines if you plan to drive in the crop after the first elongation. Damage from tractor and equipment tires where there are no tramlines will damage plants – these plants will be delayed development and flowering which very often means lots of ergot along the wheel tracks

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Management 

All grasses can and do multiply the ergot fungi and therefore ergot can be found in all soils. In no-till systems ergot concentration on the soil surface and upper layer of soil are higher than where tillage is used, therefore it is even more important that good establishment and correct management is followed to ensure even development and flowering. Wherever it is possible keep nearby grasses controlled to prevent them from multiplying ergot – mow them or spray to control them. Good rotation will also keep the grasses down.

Hybrid Fall Rye for Silage