spring planted winter rye?

mikmaze

5 year old buck +
Just got off the phone with a somewhat local seed supplier, he does not have winter wheat available at this time, but he does have winter rye in stock. I would like to try a plot of spring planted to see what it does over the summer, and then what it has to offer once fall / winter roll around. Lets hear some experience on this, I am in zone 7, and if I am going to do this, would like to start soon. i have a lot of plots, but hate to waste an acre on something that has been shown to be a waste of time.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
What do you consider a waste of time? If adding tons of green manure/organic matter to your plots is a waste of time then you wouldn't want to plant rye. If controlling weeds through the aggressive growth of a smother crop and allelopathic affects of rye is a waste of time, by all means, don't plant. If adding a plant to your plot that will mine unused nutrients from deep in the soil profile and bring them to the top to be returned to the soil when you terminate the rye is a waste of time, again no rye. If gigantic moisture holding root systems under the surface of your plot are a waste of time, rye is not what you want. I think you can see where this is going. Spring planted winter rye can be just as effective as fall planted rye in your plot. It pairs very well with hairy vetch and that combination will supply even more N to the soil than the rye can mine due to the vetch being a legume. Another choice would be to get the rye down and then come back in a few weeks and no-till soybeans into the new rye, this will add N and deer candy. With rye's weed suppressing properties, you could possibly get away with conventional soybeans and save a few bucks there also. Rye would be far better than cool season grass(I know, it is a cool season grass) or weeds in that plot over the summer.
 

mikmaze

5 year old buck +
Sounds good, I just hope the deer will hit it in the late season like they do when it goes in as a fall crop. "waste of time" sounds so harsh when I re read, that all said, 56 lb bags at 22 dollars sounds like a bargain.

btw, that picture above contains a link to the full article that had that pic, good read.
 
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dipper

Guest
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Not sure if you seen this but I posted it in my nursery thread. This picture was taken 3 days ago. This rye was planted just over a year ago in my nursery. Middle of ag country with hundreds of acres a corn, beans and alfalfa nearby. The deer are still coming to my nursery for the rye, and they chewed it to the ground. Not the best focus but you get the idea.

This is what the unbrowsed looks like
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dipper

Guest
It doesn't seem there is really many out there growing this way right now. Sounds like some guys are wanting to experiment for themselves, and that's great.
Plant one rye seed in a pot and see what those roots look like come December. Your in zone 7, I'm in 4. Things are different, you have find that medium.
Worst case scenario for you is you have to terminate come fall and plant something else. With the price of warm season seed, sounds like a pretty safe investment if you ask me.
 
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wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
Agreed dipper, this is exactly what I was thinking! If (and that is a big if), this didn't work out for some reason, the rye could be terminated easily and converted to something else without being out a ton of cash. As opposed to terminating the rye if the deer weren't using it(which I don't see happening unless there is alfalfa, soybeans, or acorns drawing them away), I would just mow it short to remove enough height to allow your fall crop to be no-tilled into the rye and to get enough height to not be shaded out by the rye.
Let the rye grow right along with your fall crop and it will rebound and feed deer well into the winter.
 
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dipper

Guest
This was the first year I didn't have deer tear up the rye in my garden. We just got too much snow early in the winter, and the deer didn't want to travel across the open area to reach my garden. Since I've been planting the rye this way, I have to cage all of my apple trees in the nursery, it draws the dang deer in. It's kinda funny seing the exact shape of the garden ripped apart, they find every plant.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Dipper - this is the first year I am going to try spring planting of winter rye. I am evidently not far from you and I should be able to get similar results. We also have high deer populations although less than a few years back. Plan on planting rye into the winter rye I planted last fall. Thinking of just spreading the winter rye seed into the existing rye field in Early to mid May and lightly disking and cultipack. This way I will likely keep the winter rye from last fall growing and still have this spring's rye growing in the same field. Is this a good idea? Any guidance would be very helpful - I think your experiences with spring planted winter rye would be very indicative of what I should expect.
 
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dipper

Guest
Dipper - this is the first year I am going to try spring planting of winter rye. I am evidently not far from you and I should be able to get similar results. We also have high deer populations although less than a few years back. Plan on planting rye into the winter rye I planted last fall. Thinking of just spreading the winter rye seed into the existing rye field in Early to mid May and lightly disking and cultipack. This way I will likely keep the winter rye from last fall growing and still have this spring's rye growing in the same field. Is this a good idea? Any guidance would be very helpful - I think your experiences with spring planted winter rye would be very indicative of what I should expect.

Personally, what I do is let the rye you already have mature, that will be around the beginning of July. Disc it when it matures, and you have free seed. It will plant itself, no need to overcomplicate it. Than you can add your oats, peas, brassicas, or whatever, for the fall plot.

I basically do the lickcreek mix, but I grow everything at the same time. I don't rotate anything.

If I was starting fresh like mikmaze basically is, I'd plant oats and some clover/ alfalfa now. Let that oats mature, and disc it in, to take advantage of that free seed. Don't go crazy discing though, you don't want to kill your alfalfa and clover. You'll chop it up a little, but below ground, it will still be alive. (In central WI), that oats will mature around the middle of July. Than plant your rye, brassicas and peas. Soooo-that will give you oats, rye, clover, alfalfa, brassicas and peas as a fall food plot. It's the lickcreek mix-growing at the same time! It's awesome!

I had this documented on the QDMA forum, but I erased all the posts. Last year I didn't even disc the mature rye in, I just culti-packed it, and it grew! I planted 5 acres for like $45. There were deer eating in the plot a half hour after I planted. That clover stayed alive, the deer just kepy feeding on it. I didn't use any fertilizer, on sandy/ rocky soil. We really put a hurting on the doe population around that food source. I'll start another thread this spring, maybe that will make more sense. haha
 
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dipper

Guest
You can plant rye in the spring, and the deer will eat it. I don't like to spend money if I don't have to. I also don't care for monocultures. For me, if I planted rye in the spring, your kinda just stuck with it. Peas will have no problem being no tilled into the rye, come late summer. Other seeds like oats and brassicas won't germinate as well, because that rye will be so thick and tall.
Like I said, I grow oats and rye, so I can take advantage of the free seed they give me. I'm not the first one to manage my plots like this, I'm just being more vocal about it, while including all the perks of lickcreek's system.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Dipper- my goal for the rye this year to get more tonnage in the field. All my rye/clover ends up eaten down to 2-3 inches or less by the end of Nov. Last year I had 8 acres. The rye got buried in Dec and the deer did not dig for the rye - not much left and too much energy to dig down to it. If I planted some rye in May or June I was hoping to get 8-10 inches of growth that could be more easily acessible into the winter. From what you describe rye will not head out the first year. Oats will.

Your QDMA post showed tall rye that some people felt would not be palatable to the deer but my deer eat virtually anything -- i just need to get more food into the winter.
 
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dipper

Guest
Dipper- my goal for the rye this year to get more tonnage in the field. All my rye/clover ends up eaten down to 2-3 inches or less by the end of Nov. Last year I had 8 acres. The rye got buried in Dec and the deer did not dig for the rye - not much left and too much energy to dig down to it. If I planted some rye in May or June I was hoping to get 8-10 inches of growth that could be more easily acessible into the winter. From what you describe rye will not head out the first year. Oats will.

Your QDMA post showed tall rye that some people felt would not be palatable to the deer but my deer eat virtually anything -- i just need to get more food into the winter.

That might work for you. Sounds like you have more deer than me. 8 acres of rye is some major tonnage to keep mowed down. We dumped over 40 does last year, and at this point-it seems to have made an impact. I'm guessing you don't have much for understory cover and regeneration.

It always seems the deer by my really hit those oats, before they turn to the rye. Growing the two together is like doubling the food because the two grow so well toether.
 
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dipper

Guest
This is what the 1.6 acre cocktail looks like under 30"a of snow. There was still no shortage of deer in the area, and the plot lasted all winter. Found a half dozen sheds in it. It is allot of fun watching people find their first shed, especially when they passed on the buck, never having tagged one.
E7F06852-A3F6-4305-9D81-912E0719ABF7.jpg
 

bigmike

5 year old buck +
Thats a great root mass. How long before the deer quit eating it. I just planted a small field with oats and red clover. Another i have worked up to plant buckwheat in a week or so.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
That picture is exactly what I want to work toward. I just know that my rye never gets tall enough to last into the winter. Our populations are coming down over the last few years - but certainly it will be adjusted down more this coming year.

Our understory is a challenge and we have been manipulating habitat aggressively the last 5 years to thicken up the cover. Hinge cutting has been very useful. I have planted a lot of norway spruce and Red pine over the last 3 years but the last two summer droughts have hurt survival.

Our deer poplulation is not too bad in the summer - but once all the farmers harvest crops our place picks up a lot of deer. Then another population increase occurs as deer pile in just before and during gun deer season. Sometimes the deer disperse after gun season sometimes they don't.

Definitely tweaking my planting strategies this year. I think getting my rye in early enough to get some good growth prior to the infux of deer will help a lot.
 
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dipper

Guest
Hut plant your "fall" food plots" the beginning of July. I suspect you've been planting them too late like the experts told you to do. Those plots got early use, and they never turned out to much.

When you plant in July those plots don't get that hard use July and August. That gives them the chance to grow.

I've had half acre lots stay strong with up to 20 deer eating them at times. If u try my strategy it will work.
 
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dipper

Guest
I went to war with those experts on the qdma forum exactly for guys like you. If you want to save some big time cash, take advantage of the free seed, and the cocktail blends. The plants grow a lot better, and your soil improves. It is a win win
 

West Branch

5 year old buck +
I am planning on planting our rye by the middle of July this year and maybe the first week of July if I can make it up there.

The deer quit digging through the snow last year by the end of Dec for our rye planted Aug 10. I think the earlier the better for us! And it is the first place the deer are this spring as well.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Mine is going in no later than July 4th holiday weekend. Probably a bit quicker if there is a good rain in late June. Not sure if the seed planted last fall will be mature by the end of June? Any thoughts? My brassicas will be going in about the same.
 

Ogemaone

5 year old buck +
I will being doing the same. I have a week vacation after the fourth and will be doing rye and clover plots along with my brassica plot.
 
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