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Conservation Tillage: Cover Crops

Cereal Rye

Cereal RyeCereal rye is a winter annual, the hardiest of all the winter grasses, deep-rooted and quick to grow in the springtime. It will self-reseed and withstand temperatures low as -31°F once established, even able to hold protective snow cover. It has a high tolerance to low soil pH and less fertile soil, but will respond quite well to good soil. The plant itself is tall and mostly stem, slow to breakdown and therefore produces large amounts of biomass. It is the best at recycling nutrients and is often used as a mulch; cereal rye is also alleopathic, reducing the weed population. Cereal rye may be grazed and harvested for double cropping. Cereal rye's overall hardiness and high tolerance to a variety of pH, soil type and quality, temperatures and water availability make it a readily desirable cover crop to use.

Seed 60-120 lb/A. Late September-late November.