Friday, June 7, 2013

Rolling Rye

Rolling down a rye cover crop is an effective way to control glyphosate resistant weeds.  This is an interesting video about using rye ahead of cotton but those principles will work on other crops like soybeans or corn.  If you watch this video for two minutes, you will see smut on rye like we find in wheat or barley.  Look for the black heads  This will not be a disease problem for the crop following like cotton or soybeans.  The principles in this video are worth studying and considering.

Rye is the number one cover crop I've seen in my area this year.  There are more acres of rye than any other cover, though if it had radish in it, the radish is long gone and the most you might find is the holes the tubers disappeared into.  This has saved millions of tons of soil like fescue has been credited for in the south since its introduction.

Even our smallest vendors are selling every bit of rye they order here.  You have to get your order in early if you want to plant cereal rye as a cover.  I got mine up in October last year but many years you won't even see it until it warms up in late winter and spring.  It has been headed for over a month here.  It's amazing how many more acres there are of cover crop in southern Ohio.

Rye has been my number one control of the dreaded Marestail here.  Marestail is pretty much gone in my fields if I can keep staying ahead of it.  It quickly costs 10 bushels of soybeans per acre and 20 with a bigger infestation in southwest Ohio.

We are going to have to stay on top of our control of rye if we use it.  It doesn't mix well in rotational plan using wheat.  I've never seen so much wheat with rye in it, either.  There are problems with any system you can come up with but the advantages of rye far outweigh the disadvantages of using it.  I reserve the right to change my tune, though.

We have enough rye here someone should probably try to harvest it and sell it for seed.  The problem is it only make 25-40 bushels per acre.  It is not a high yielder but the last rye I saw sold for $17 a bag, cleaned.  That is getting close to a good profit and you could still take off the straw and/or drill it to double crop soybeans or plant a soil builder to raise corn the next for practically nothing.  No purchased fertilizer is a big boon to good crop production.

What is going on with rye in your area?

Ed Winkle

7 comments:

  1. So, if rye is always sold out, costs more than double what we are paid for it off the combine, and it is hard to control in wheat, why don't you just learn how to grow rye instead of wheat?

    In my semi arid area, even a 40bu/ac rye is basically a crop failure! Get some good varieties, treat it like you would winter wheat rather than it's redheaded step child and go nuts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ever tried buckwheat too? Its roots exudates are supposed to have a great weed suppressant allelopathic effect too, not just from the mulching effect.

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    Replies
    1. Buckwheat is also known to make insoluble P available to other plants.

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  3. I have always wanted to play with buckwheat but never have. Dad said it saved the farm in the 30's when the corn was bust.

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  4. Andy, someone else can do that but I think I will pass on that operation.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
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