Let's discuss the best cereal rye varieties.

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
Seems like awnless triticale really could be the magic grain. If you can find consistently at a good price.

Actually have some in a plot right now thanks to a fellow forum member who thought I should try it. May not be its best showing due to severe drought and late planting, but it's getting a shot. Will probably try it again just to give it a fair shake.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Reports from guys I (we) might know is that wheat doesn't always do all that great up your way. I'm just saying I've done a lot of experimenting and observing and have come up with some stuff that works for me. I believe rye is that "stuff" that works well for you.

What I have seen from real farmers is winter wheat on heavier soils and rye on lighter soils like foggy has.

I tried some WW many years ago and was not impressed with it.


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SD51555

5 year old buck +
Reports from guys I (we) might know is that wheat doesn't always do all that great up your way. I'm just saying I've done a lot of experimenting and observing and have come up with some stuff that works for me. I believe rye is that "stuff" that works well for you.
It does just fine up by us, as far as it doing what it claims to do. It's just that the growing season is so short that it can't finish what it came to do before it's time to get on with step 2. I had some awnless wheat in the margins I couldn't reach with my mower, and the deer took the seed heads, but it wasn't until about 2-3 weeks after I needed that stuff down so I could re-grow the final forage for the fall. I'd love to get a full grazing cycle out there in the summer on those heads to produce some hoof action, snot, urine, and poop, it just doesn't happen quickly enough.

I think we could blow all this business wide open by planting these winter cereals 3 weeks earlier than any sane person would plant anything in the spring. I'm talking broadcasting winter wheat and rye on frozen soil in late March or early April. For me, if they can survive and produce being planted for the entire growing season before vernalization, all that malarky about mowing height and timing goes out the window and this will get immensely easier. I've planted rye as early as June 30th, and it worked very well all the way through. I don't know how wheat would handle it though.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
If it all works, I could see me putting together a 4-way cereal grain blend to be planted in the spring, and 3 of them would be winter cereals.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
If it all works, I could see me putting together a 4-way cereal grain blend to be planted in the spring, and 3 of them would be winter cereals.
Yeah....spring planting is a whole 'other topic. What WINTER Rye does....when planted in the fall it will grow to perhaps a few inches high for pretty much immediate greens through the onset of winter. ......Meanwhile the roots become established and so your microizal fungi things (grin) and can stay viable through -30 degree winters here in MN.....and RESUME growing at the first thaw.....right where it left off in Fall. Thereby providing some nutrition at the time most needed by my deer.....whom have been starving all winter.

Other small grains dont seem to have what it takes in Zone 3. Prove me wrong? I'd love to find another crop I can establish in fall and grow into the following summer. Cheap and easy to grow are other attributes. ......and as Paul Knox would say: "Rye and Clover go together like peanut butter and jelly". <-----that is etched in my brain....lol.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
What WINTER Rye does....when planted in the fall
It does the same thing when planted in June too. My June planted rye only got to maybe 8-10" tall. Stayed that was all the way to winter and came flying outta the ground in spring.

If it worked it June, I wanna see if it'll work in March or April, and I wanna see if it'll work for wheat and other stuff.
 

TreeDaddy

5 year old buck +
Yeah....spring planting is a whole 'other topic. What WINTER Rye does....when planted in the fall it will grow to perhaps a few inches high for pretty much immediate greens through the onset of winter. ......Meanwhile the roots become established and so your microizal fungi things (grin) and can stay viable through -30 degree winters here in MN.....and RESUME growing at the first thaw.....right where it left off in Fall. Thereby providing some nutrition at the time most needed by my deer.....whom have been starving all winter.

Other small grains dont seem to have what it takes in Zone 3. Prove me wrong? I'd love to find another crop I can establish in fall and grow into the following summer. Cheap and easy to grow are other attributes. ......and as Paul Knox would say: "Rye and Clover go together like peanut butter and jelly". <-----that is etched in my brain....lol.

Mine too

kinda like those old tv commercials you just cant shake from your mind

bill
 

paleopoint

5 year old buck +
This has been an interesting thread as I grow some rye. VNS.
But my comments here lean more towards winter wheat (red in my area)
My farm is in southern Michigan farm country....Zone 5b.

In my experience...and on my deer-dirt ..... wheat is favored (by deer) over rye.
I plant both as I value the allelopathic nature of rye.....but my 'go to' cereal is wheat.

Here's what I've found: In side by side trials the deer will go to the wheat first and stay there longer. To be sure, they will certainly eat the rye too. It is sorta which ice cream is favored at a kid's birthday party. They all want the chocolate....but won't turn their noses up at the vanilla.

And too, and importantly......EVERYTHING under the sun eats wheat seeds. I could list a dozen+ species of critters that I've found in my wheat plantings. Without even getting to the birds. Rye....not so much. I am sure it is the long awns on the rye.

When my wheat heads reach a the right degree of maturity deer....the seeds are gone in a matter of 3 or 4 days (maybe 4 acres). Turkeys get their share too. Mid July is a favored time for me to watch the wheat in the evenings because the deer flock to those seed heads. It is my first real good look at what the season's crop of antlers is looking like.

I buy both grains as bin-run from two local farmers....one for rye, one for wheat.
I don't worry so much about those guys giving me unwanted weeds as they both are good operators....and I have enough of my own weeds to be able to tell what is theirs.

I plant my rye and my wheat around the last week of September. Much earlier than that and think I see the crop getting too rank and the animals use it less.

Lastly, wheat is much easier to manage biomass-wise. It doesn't have as tall a stalk, or as fibrous. Wheat biomass seems to melt.....at least compared to rye.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
This has been an interesting thread as I grow some rye. VNS.
But my comments here lean more towards winter wheat (red in my area)
My farm is in southern Michigan farm country....Zone 5b.

In my experience...and on my deer-dirt ..... wheat is favored (by deer) over rye.
I plant both as I value the allelopathic nature of rye.....but my 'go to' cereal is wheat.

Here's what I've found: In side by side trials the deer will go to the wheat first and stay there longer. To be sure, they will certainly eat the rye too. It is sorta which ice cream is favored at a kid's birthday party. They all want the chocolate....but won't turn their noses up at the vanilla.

And too, and importantly......EVERYTHING under the sun eats wheat seeds. I could list a dozen+ species of critters that I've found in my wheat plantings. Without even getting to the birds. Rye....not so much. I am sure it is the long awns on the rye.

When my wheat heads reach a the right degree of maturity deer....the seeds are gone in a matter of 3 or 4 days (maybe 4 acres). Turkeys get their share too. Mid July is a favored time for me to watch the wheat in the evenings because the deer flock to those seed heads. It is my first real good look at what the season's crop of antlers is looking like.

I buy both grains as bin-run from two local farmers....one for rye, one for wheat.
I don't worry so much about those guys giving me unwanted weeds as they both are good operators....and I have enough of my own weeds to be able to tell what is theirs.

I plant my rye and my wheat around the last week of September. Much earlier than that and think I see the crop getting too rank and the animals use it less.

Lastly, wheat is much easier to manage biomass-wise. It doesn't have as tall a stalk, or as fibrous. Wheat biomass seems to melt.....at least compared to rye.
Good post.

The last paragraph, most I think view that as a negative of wheat. The mat of rye that hangs around provides weed protection and soil cover.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
This has been an interesting thread as I grow some rye. VNS.
But my comments here lean more towards winter wheat (red in my area)
My farm is in southern Michigan farm country....Zone 5b.

In my experience...and on my deer-dirt ..... wheat is favored (by deer) over rye.
I plant both as I value the allelopathic nature of rye.....but my 'go to' cereal is wheat.

Here's what I've found: In side by side trials the deer will go to the wheat first and stay there longer. To be sure, they will certainly eat the rye too. It is sorta which ice cream is favored at a kid's birthday party. They all want the chocolate....but won't turn their noses up at the vanilla.

And too, and importantly......EVERYTHING under the sun eats wheat seeds. I could list a dozen+ species of critters that I've found in my wheat plantings. Without even getting to the birds. Rye....not so much. I am sure it is the long awns on the rye.

When my wheat heads reach a the right degree of maturity deer....the seeds are gone in a matter of 3 or 4 days (maybe 4 acres). Turkeys get their share too. Mid July is a favored time for me to watch the wheat in the evenings because the deer flock to those seed heads. It is my first real good look at what the season's crop of antlers is looking like.

I buy both grains as bin-run from two local farmers....one for rye, one for wheat.
I don't worry so much about those guys giving me unwanted weeds as they both are good operators....and I have enough of my own weeds to be able to tell what is theirs.

I plant my rye and my wheat around the last week of September. Much earlier than that and think I see the crop getting too rank and the animals use it less.

Lastly, wheat is much easier to manage biomass-wise. It doesn't have as tall a stalk, or as fibrous. Wheat biomass seems to melt.....at least compared to rye.
Does your wheat "overwinter" and is it palatable in spring?
 

paleopoint

5 year old buck +
Re: 'overwintering'......yes. As does my rye. Now, to be sure, we haven't had minus 15 temps or worse for a decade (of course, it must be said --I'm in Florida by then anyway)....but for the last 9 or 10 years my wheat comes through just fine, and then grows a great head that, as I said, everything eats.

Locally, wheat growers combine their fields right around July14th to the 24th. The ag wheat is generally planted after September 20th locally. Last year, because of wet ground, there were any number of ag fields planted first week of November.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
Re: 'overwintering'......yes. As does my rye. Now, to be sure, we haven't had minus 15 temps or worse for a decade (of course, it must be said --I'm in Florida by then anyway)....but for the last 9 or 10 years my wheat comes through just fine, and then grows a great head that, as I said, everything eats.

Locally, wheat growers combine their fields right around July14th to the 24th. The ag wheat is generally planted after September 20th locally. Last year, because of wet ground, there were any number of ag fields planted first week of November.
Awnless triticale!!!
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Awnless triticale!!!
I've watched a few comparisons done by Green Cover Seeds on the different winter grains. I need to watch again. Started watching the one below.....but have some other stuff to do first. It may serve as a discussion point on these crops. I am considering to try a winter triticale. What brand / source in MN??

 
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buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I am really hurting in the plots this year because the drought wiped out 2 plantings of beans and I have only WW,It is constantly mowed down.I usually broadcast wheat into the beans to have best of both worlds.Does the awnless tricicale recover from browse and how do deer browse compared to WW.
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
Anybody have luck with no-till wheat?

Paleopoint, what do you plant your wheat with?

My one issue with my grains is traffic. I plant a mile of snowmobile trail that gets ocassional ATV traffic. Used to be a loyal fn of plotspike forage feast. Still think highly of it, nice mix of oats wheat clover chickory and austrian peas. Still recommend it. Noty expensive compared to other deer hunter branded products. Easy to find too. I till up the sides of the trail, leaving the center path alone, 90% of the time the ATV goes in the middle.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
Anybody have luck with no-till wheat?

Paleopoint, what do you plant your wheat with?

My one issue with my grains is traffic. I plant a mile of snowmobile trail that gets ocassional ATV traffic. Used to be a loyal fn of plotspike forage feast. Still think highly of it, nice mix of oats wheat clover chickory and austrian peas. Still recommend it. Noty expensive compared to other deer hunter branded products. Easy to find too. I till up the sides of the trail, leaving the center path alone, 90% of the time the ATV goes in the middle.
Not exactly no-till but I TnM wheat with great success. I prefer wheat over rye for the same reasons listed above. My side by side tests showed exactly what his did; deer go to wheat first and stay longer.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Well.....we got 2.5 pages on Winter Rye in.......before drifting into other stuff.....pretty good by forum standards. LOL. It's all good. 😉.

I did watch that whole video above and am now considering triticale and vetch and rye and some other stuff in a fall planted mix. The plot thickens.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well.....we got 2.5 pages on Winter Rye in.......before drifting into other stuff.....pretty good by forum standards. LOL. It's all good. 😉.

I did watch that whole video above and am now considering triticale and vetch and rye and some other stuff in a fall planted mix. The plot thickens.

While there are some differences in cereal grains, they generally all fill the same niche. The specifics may depend on your location, specific methods used, and objectives. It is pretty hard to draw an arbitrary line around a specific cereal grain. It is useful for most folks to discuss alternatives, why they use them, and how. Triticale blurs the distinction even further being a cross between wheat and rye.

I really like what I've seen on the characteristics of Triticale, but cost is a consideration. WR used to be a slam dunk because you got a lot of benefit at a very low cost. As incentives for cover crops for farmers have increased, the cost of Winter Rye has gone up quite a bit. While Triticale is probably more difficult to source locally, it may be worth a hard look.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Good post.

The last paragraph, most I think view that as a negative of wheat. The mat of rye that hangs around provides weed protection and soil cover.
Point taken here. But then again.....perhaps there become too much of an allopathic effect on other fall planted crops in a mix with the rye......and that rye may suppress their growth? I've had problems getting other things like AW Peas and Brassica's planted with my (Elbon) Winter Rye. Not sure if this is the case? .....but plausible?

I have just read where triticale has a lesser allopathic effect than winter rye.....something to consider.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
Point taken here. But then again.....perhaps there become too much of an allopathic effect on other fall planted crops in a mix with the rye......and that rye may suppress their growth? I've had problems getting other things like AW Peas and Brassica's planted with my (Elbon) Winter Rye. Not sure if this is the case? .....but plausible?

I have just read where triticale has a lesser allopathic effect than winter rye.....something to consider.
I’m on same path as you my man. So more throwing out ideas than giving definitive answers.

My situation is similar only in so much as funding the right plants for my farm. Being in zone 8 I get no snow and no fall crops winter kill. Winter wheat and oats will survive the winter here. And I can grow summer crops for 6 months. But weeds in the summer are a big deal and I really can’t just plant into rye for my next fall crop. It would be all weeds by the time I plant in October.

So, I plant a mix of oats, WW, and rye. And go heavier on the rye. I’m experimenting with triticale to get benefits of rye and wheat but only having to plant one grain. The jury is out in how much the deer like it. Since I plant all the grains they eat on them every day, but I really don’t know which they prefer.

My fall crops are more to hold deer for hunting. The real time deer need food here is late summer
 
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