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Hybrid Fall Rye Silage Production Guide

Why Hybrid Rye Silage?

  • Profit Potential – an opportunity for implementing double-cropping systems and ultimately more tons of silage per acre

  • Risk management – diversifies risk compared to planting only spring crops

  • Workload management – allows management of more acres with similar labour

  • Environmental management – uses less water than other cereals. Improves soil health by reducing erosion and nutrient leaching


Silage Yield and Quality

  • Increased yield at both stages vs triticale

  • Maximum tonnage at the milky stage but higher protein and energy at flag leaf

  • If unsure whether to harvest for silage or grain – consider KWS Daniello Hybrid Fall Rye

Seeding Guide and 
Planting Recommendations

  • Seeding time: Wait to plant until soil temperatures are below 15C. This planting window will vary depending on the region. For most the regions, late regions, late July through October, depending on fall grazing and management opportunities.

  • Seeding rate: – 0.8 units per acre

    • 1 unit = 1 million viable seeds. The weight of a unit can vary according to germination rate and the grain weight of a unit is provided on the bag.

    • Seeding rate of 800,000 viable seeds per acre

  • Seeding depth: – 0.8 inches (2 cm)

  • Row spacing: 7-8 inches (18-20 cm) is preferred

    • This seeding rate and row spacing will maximize emergence and allow for even tillering.

    • This is critical for crop quality and maximum yields.

Fertilization and Weed Control Recommendations

Ensure all nutrients are available as soon as regrowth starts in the spring.

  • N-fertilization is dependent on expected yield but can usually be set to about 20% less than what is required for winter wheat

  • 20-30 lbs N and PK should be provided in the fall

  • Apply spring nitrogen as soon as roots are starting to activate

  • For weed control, it is recommended to clean the field prior to planting

  • If a spring application is necessary, it should be done as early as possible and prior to the first elongation – when hybrid rye is less susceptible to herbicide damage


Harvesting for 

  • High protein silage – should be cut on flag leaf/early ear

    • Harvested in late May (will vary based on region) – Lower tonnage but higher quality silage

    • To achieve optimal moisture for packing, rye should be windrowed and allowed to dry to desired moisture (35%) prior to shopping and packing

    • Earlier harvest date provides the potential for implementing a double cropping system

  • Whole plant silage – high yielding; should be cut on milking to light dough stage

    • Harvest in early June (will vary based on region) – higher tonnage while still maintaining quality

    • Fields should be monitored daily when approaching the milking stage. Plants mature quickly at this time and proper management is essential for optimal yield and quality.

  • Harvesting flexibility – for nutrient, production and management needs

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