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Old 07-21-2009, 03:16 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Default Winter Rye versus Winter Wheat

When I was younger I was on a livestock judging team and we would have to judge a set of 4 steers upon which we would write down the placement and then have to stand before a huge crowded auditorium and give our REASONS...

Man I hated that...but just placing the animals in some order wasn't enough...we had to tell the whole world exactly WHY, 2 was better then 4, 3 then 1 and so one.

Food plot crops are no different, there are good, better and best options for everyone and wheat and rye have different attributes...or lack of them that many are not aware of.

I recommend cereal rye for many reasons, that combined, make an awesome choice for everyone to whom it is available. For those who can only purchase wheat locally...no worries, it will work just fine.

I recommend things because I have over 50 years of trialing and testing, not just for deer but as a cattleman who is used to forage testing all types of food sources to feed the very best sources of protein to livestock.

My assumption is that most of you if given the opportunity would prefer to do the same thing for your deer herd.

So rye is in most cases higher in crude and digestible protein then all other cereal grains but that's far from the only reason as rye is capable of recycling nitrogen that wheat uses and then it's GONE!

Here are some more things to consider that are also posted in my thread:

Quote:
A rye cover crop and manure applications are mutually beneficial. Manure nutrients aid in decomposition of the rye, offsetting any potential yield drag, and rye captures and recycles the manure nutrients effectively to the future corn crop, reducing commercial fertilizer needs.

Rye is one of the best scavengers of nitrogen and reduces leaching losses on both sandy soils and tile-drained land. The fast growing, fibrous root system can capture 25 to 100 pounds of soil nitrogen per acre.

Seeding rye in late summer or early fall will allow it to scavenge nitrogen. When organic N (from manure or legumes) is still available.

Rye can capture this nitrogen and recycle it to the following season. The actual amount of nitrogen that is recycled is highly variable. A presidedress soil nitrate test can help determine the amount of nitrogen credit to take for the upcoming corn crop.

Rye should be allowed to grow over the winter to continue taking up N in the spring.

Rye is the hardiest of cereals and can be seeded later in the fall than other cover crops, and it provides top growth and extensive root growth. It will germinate at cold temperatures—as low as 34 degrees F—and it will resume growing at 38 degrees in the spring. This makes it possible to seed rye after corn, sugar beet or bean harvest until the ground freezes.

It is relatively inexpensive to plant, and the seed is readily available or easily grown.

Easy to establish, rye can be aerial seeded in standing corn/silage and before leaf drop in soybean. Rye can be broadcast alone or with dry fertilizers, can be added to manure tanks for slurry seeding or drilled (which provides the most consistent stands).

It outperforms most other crops on infertile, sandy or acidic soil. It is also tolerant of a variety of soil types and grows well on both poorly and well-drained soils.

Rye can recycle potassium from deeper in the soil profile for future crop use.

Rye is effective at suppressing weeds. It competes with winter annuals and inhibits growth of spring weeds. As rye residue decomposes, it releases allelopathic compounds that are harmful to the growth of weeds.
The rapid fall and spring growth can stabilize sandy soil, trap snow and improve infiltration.

Rye is utilized for many cropping systems, including fruits and vegetables, where it can be left in narrow strips to reduce wind erosion.

Rye, and all cover crops, build soil quality over time by adding organic matter. Long-term benefits include improved soil structure, tilth, water infiltration and water-holding capacity.


If you prefer to plant wheat or barley or whatever that's none of my concern but there are hundreds of new people anxious to learn how to best feed their whitetails, improve their soils and save money at the same time. It is to those people I prefer to give the best recommendations based on factual truths...not here-say.

One can plant something and attract deer but that doesn't make it better then other options. When I judged those cattle I was young and although I had good training and natural skills I was often wrong and when they told me so I didn't care for it. The panel of judges however were experienced seasoned cattlemen who knew better then I the merits of each steer and I learned from them because they not only said I was wrong, but why.


I hope most of you will take time to really read my threads and understand the merits of each crop and learn to understand the difference between protein and digestible protein, what alleopathic chemicals are and how crops can build soils and store nitrogen and which crops are superior at doing all of those things including attracting whitetails...

Understanding Cereal Grains and Cover Crops

This version is longer but also contains a great deal of supporting data and a plethora of helpful information for those with the time to read through it.

All about cereal grains and cover crops

Knowledge and options will help each landowner decide what is right for them...

***NOTE***

The above comments are meant to show the attributes of rye over wheat but I never plant rye alone bbut instead plant the following mix of which rye is the corner stone

Quote:
Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
Spring oats 80-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
Austrian Winter Peas or 4010/6040 Forage peas 20-80#'s per acre
Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre
Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre


Plant seeds roughly 1-2" deep by lightly tilling or discing in, and then cultipack to cover, broadcast clover and radish seed and re-cultipack

Plant fall grains no earlier then the last week of August through mid September, earlier is better when adding peas and clover
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Informational threads on growing food plots and improving habitat for whitetails

Dbltree's Corner - Food Plot Links

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Last edited by Lickcreek : 12-20-2011 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:35 PM
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Darron Darron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lickcreek View Post
When I was younger I was on a livestock judging team and we would have to judge a set of 4 steers upon which we would write down the placement and then have to stand before a huge crowded auditorium and give our REASONS...

Man I hated that...but just placing the animals in some order wasn't enough...we had to tell the whole world exactly WHY, 2 was better then 4, 3 then 1 and so one.

Food plot crops are no different, there are good, better and best options for everyone and wheat and rye have different attributes...or lack of them that many are not aware of.

I recommend cereal rye for many reasons, that combined, make an awesome choice for everyone to whom it is available. For those who can only purchase wheat locally...no worries, it will work just fine.

I recommend things because I have over 50 years of trialing and testing, not just for deer but as a cattleman who is used to forage testing all types of food sources to feed the very best sources of protein to livestock.

My assumption is that most of you if given the opportunity would prefer to do the same thing for your deer herd.

So rye is in most cases higher in crude and digestible protein then all other cereal grains but that's far from the only reason as rye is capable of recycling nitrogen that wheat uses and then it's GONE!

Here are some more things to consider that are also posted in my thread:




If you prefer to plant wheat or barley or whatever that's none of my concern but there are hundreds of new people anxious to learn how to best feed their whitetails, improve their soils and save money at the same time. It is to those people I prefer to give the best recommendations based on factual truths...not here-say.

One can plant something and attract deer but that doesn't make it better then other options. When I judged those cattle I was young and although I had good training and natural skills I was often wrong and when they told me so I didn't care for it. The panel of judges however were experienced seasoned cattlemen who knew better then I the merits of each steer and I learned from them because they not only said I was wrong, but why.


I hope most of you will take time to really read my threads and understand the merits of each crop and learn to understand the difference between protein and digestible protein, what alleopathic chemicals are and how crops can build soils and store nitrogen and which crops are superior at doing all of those things including attracting whitetails...

Understanding Cereal Grains and Cover Crops

This version is longer but also contains a great deal of supporting data and a plethora of helpful information for those with the time to read through it.

All about cereal grains and cover crops

Knowledge and options will help each landowner decide what is right for them...

I have planted food plots now for 5 years and I am learning every year. I didn't even know what rye grain was until I started reading on here. 50 years experience is good enough for me and I have learned alot not only from Lickcreek, but from many others on here and local farmers in my area. After saying that, if I can't get winter rye by mid-late August, I will go ahead and pay for it to be shipped because the positives seem like they outweight the negatives by a long shot.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:37 PM
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dgallow dgallow is offline
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Thanks LC!

Any 'take-home' practical diffs between Wrens Abruzzi (sp?) and Elbon varieties? If memory is correct, Elbon is an OK variety and most of what we get locally but we haven't planted it. Wrens is in a mix we used last yr and will use this yr till it's gone...lasted the whole season last yr. Just curious!

If you busted a class but were good at reasons, you just might be able to make the judges question their own reasons!
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:39 PM
dtabor dtabor is offline
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LC,

My understanding was that annual rye grain is just that, annual but I see in many posts, and even in yours about it coming back the next spring. Is that because of climate or is that just what it does? My intention was to plant it so that it stays green longer under the snow for the deer but next spring I dont want it around, I want the clover that I plant with it this fall to come in!!

Thanks for all the knowledge you provide on here!

D
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:46 PM
OPM OPM is offline
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Great post. I've thought it was funny how someone can ask for help in one post, then give the same advice to another person in another post with no actual experience. You've compiled the most documentation of anyone in why/when things should be planted and supplemented, I've ever seen. Thank you for providing your trials for us to examine.

I have used rye on many occasions, but have found 2 faults. The allelopathic nature is very strong, and created a germ. failure when I followed rye with NWSG. The next spring I replanted and have a perfect stand, but it was rough the first year. The other thing that I don't care for is rye's ability to reseed, if you let it go that far. I would highly suggest turning rye under, and not letting it go to seed.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:50 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Quote:
practical diffs between Wrens Abruzzi (sp?) and Elbon varieties

All the rye that I plant is just "rye"...no name, "generic" but...Elbon is a common variety and more common in the plains states while WA is more common is southern states.

Both good varieties but I'm not sure I would pay to have either shipped 1/2 across the U.S....if you know what I'm sayin'

Usually whatever your local supplier has will work just fine...


Quote:
Originally Posted by dtabor View Post
LC,

My understanding was that annual rye grain is just that, annual but I see in many posts, and even in yours about it coming back the next spring. Is that because of climate or is that just what it does? My intention was to plant it so that it stays green longer under the snow for the deer but next spring I dont want it around, I want the clover that I plant with it this fall to come in!!

Thanks for all the knowledge you provide on here!

D

Rye is an annual but it is a winter annual just like wheat so it survives the winter and puts on it's growth the following spring. When it matures, it's then combined for grain just like wheat (as in rye bread... )but most of us doing habitat work will clip it off in the spring or plow it under as green manure.

Either way...it won't be back the following year however if left standing in the field, the seed will drop and if there is timely rainfall it can re-sprout seed, just exactly as wheat or oats would.

In your case, you can just clip off the rye in the spring...or if that is not an option then planting oats might be a better option as they will freeze off leaving a nice mulch for the clover seedlings.

Personally I have to clip the clover anyway so clipping the rye off at the same time is no biggie and then it's done and is no longer an issue.

Quote:
I plant the following mix...not pure rye

Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
Spring oats 80-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
Austrian Winter Peas or 4010/6040 Forage peas 20-80#'s per acre
Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre
Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre


Plant seeds roughly 1-2" deep by lightly tilling or discing in, and then cultipack to cover, broadcast clover and radish seed and re-cultipack

Plant fall grains no earlier then the last week of August through mid September, earlier is better when adding peas and clover
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The life and times of dbltree

Informational threads on growing food plots and improving habitat for whitetails

Dbltree's Corner - Food Plot Links

When I get where I'm going...don't cry for me down here

Dbltree Habitat Enhancement - Paul & Jesse Knox, Birmingham, Iowa

dbltree2000@yahoo.com jknox0623@gmail.com

Joshua 24:15

Last edited by Lickcreek : 12-20-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:57 PM
dtabor dtabor is offline
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OK< so as long as I dont let it go to seed NEXT year I'll be ok. My goal here is the clover but want something useful this year.

Again, thanks for the quick response and knowledge!!

D
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:03 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtabor View Post
OK< so as long as I dont let it go to seed NEXT year I'll be ok. My goal here is the clover but want something useful this year.

Again, thanks for the quick response and knowledge!!

D

Yep..just clip it in late May most likely, it grows VERY fast in the spring!

Quote:
The allelopathic nature is very strong, and created a germ. failure when I followed rye with NWSG

I found the same thing with frost seeded clover in a brassica patch! Small seeds can be completely suppressed so the alleopathic chemicals can be good or can be a problem.

That's why I love to start clover in the fall with rye because the chemicals don't exist at that point and the clover germinates and thus is unaffected in the spring. That helps keep weeds out of the clover the following spring and the whole process works like a charm.

Larger seeds like soybeans, corn or peas work very well to follow rye as well.

Great point...thanks for mentioning it...
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The life and times of dbltree

Informational threads on growing food plots and improving habitat for whitetails

Dbltree's Corner - Food Plot Links

When I get where I'm going...don't cry for me down here

Dbltree Habitat Enhancement - Paul & Jesse Knox, Birmingham, Iowa

dbltree2000@yahoo.com jknox0623@gmail.com

Joshua 24:15
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:10 PM
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Default Change of mind...

Lick,

I have to tell you, the first couple of your posts I saw, I thought, "Who is THIS guy?" And why is he constantly advertising his other threads, and putting himself up to be "the" expert on food plots. I apologize. I have since realized that, due to vast experience working with forages, plus experimenting with different crops under different conditions, you may not be "THE" expert, but you are dang sure a lot more expert than I am, or most likely, ever will be.
I may spend more time reading your threads on Iowa Whitetail than I do here.
I recommend everyone with any questions to go read Lickcreek's threads over there!
While he might not have all the answers, he certainly is working towards finding them!

My question is, when are you going to write a book? You've probably already written it here and on Iowa Whitetails... All you would have to do is edit it into a usable format.

Good job Lickcreek! I, for one, really appreciate all of the VERY useful information you've put down so far!
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:11 PM
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Terrific_tom Terrific_tom is offline
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Great post LC. Every thing that you have stated is what I have experienced with my Rye plantings.

LC,

Quote:
LC,

My understanding was that annual rye grain is just that, annual but I see in many posts, and even in yours about it coming back the next spring. Is that because of climate or is that just what it does? My intention was to plant it so that it stays green longer under the snow for the deer but next spring I dont want it around, I want the clover that I plant with it this fall to come in!!

I have cut it in late spring and also let it grow when I frost seeded clover into it. When you experience a very hot dry summer the mature rye helps shade and keep moisture in the clover. The deer and turkey seem to like it that way as I jumped numerous does and fawns and turkeys out of it when I would be checking on the clover growth. Come early fall I would cut it and give it a shot of 0-0-60 and did the clover ever take off. Got a little rye that reseeded itself but so what the deer eat it any how.
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