Cereal Rye

Rye can be seeded later in fall than other cover crops and still provide considerable dry matter, an extensive soil-holding root system, significant reduction of nitrate leaching and exceptional weed suppression.  Rye outperforms all other cover crops on infertile, sandy or acidic soil or on poorly prepared land.  Widely adapted, but grows best in cool, temperate zones.  Rye can be paired with a winter annual legume such as vetch to offset rye’s tendency to tie up soil nitrogen in spring.  Rye has no taproot, but it’s quick growing, fibrous root system can take up and hold as much as 100 lb. N/A until spring, with 25 – 50 lb. being more typical.  Rye also increases the concentration of exchangeable potassium (K) near the soil surface, by bringing it up from lower in the soil profile.

Rye overseeded in soybeans.

Rye overseeded in soybeans.

Soybeans emerging in rye cover.

Cereal rye cover for soybeans.

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