Breeding New Cover Crop Rye Cultivars for the Midwest

Grants and Contracts Details


The primary aim of this research is to develop and evaluate improved cereal rye populations for use by Kentucky producers to boost the sustainability of their operations and widening the array of crops they may choose to grow. Our rye breeding project has the goal of developing new populations that can compete with the superior yields of commercial hybrid rye varieties, but with reduced seed costs by using open-pollination rather than inbreds and male sterility that are needed for hybrid production. Our focus is on mid-maturity, disease-resistant, and lodging-resistant lines. Use of cereal rye as a cover crop is a clear way of increasing sustainability of farming, by reducing erosion, retaining soil mineral nutrients (especially applied fertilizers), and by boosting soil organic matter content, but growing cereal rye for grain may improve economic sustainability. Ideally, we will produce new varieties that have high yields of superior quality grain, and are better adapted to Kentucky compared to existing varieties and hybrids. We will use Hartwick College’s Center for Craft Food and Beverage for testing distilling quality traits in our advanced populations.
Effective start/end date9/1/2012/31/21


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $12,000.00


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