Breeding New Rye Cultivars for Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Cereal rye has several attributes that make it an interesting and potentially valuable crop for Kentucky small grain producers. It is used as a cover crop, for forage production, and for grain crop production, some of which is used in distilling. Existing cultivars are available, but most are either older lines or lines and hybrids that were developed in areas with growing conditions that are quite different from those in Kentucky, for example, northern Europe. We propose to continue efforts in breeding improved cereal rye for use in cover crop and grain production. In 2017 eight new populations of cereal rye were evaluated for agronomic traits as well as grain yield. These populations were derived from crosses made in 2016 in Lexington, and most were evaluated both in Lexington and Princeton. Additional lines were evaluated from paired crosses to determine which sources are more promising for use in the breeding program. Following are activities that I propose to conduct over the 2018-2019 growing season: „h The populations that performed the best this year will be planted in replicated field plots and evaluated for seed yield and other agronomic traits in Lexington and Schochoh, KY, and in a cover crop trial at Lexington that will evaluate seedling growth rate, biomass production, and heading date, and weed control via allelochemical production under different fertility levels and planting dates compared to several adapted check varieties and hybrids. „h To improve seed yield, selection for higher fertility will be conducted by using spikes with superior seed set and yield from six new populations. „h In 2018 an additional 15 new populations were produced by intermating selected parents from a diverse sample of 45 lines from the National Small Grains Germplasm collection. These new synthetics, and ~120 paired crosses will be grown for increase and evaluated in Lexington and Schochoh.
Effective start/end date9/1/1812/31/19


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $10,000.00


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