Investigating Cereal Rye Varieties for Improved Cover Crop Performance-RENEWAL

Grants and Contracts Details


Cover crops provide numerous benefits to agricultural systems. Cereal rye remains a popular cover crop due to its flexible planting dates, potential for biomass accumulation over the winter, and relatively low cost. Cereal rye varieties differ in aboveground biomass, total N uptake, weed suppression, and effect on subsequent crop yield, though these traits have not been evaluated in Kentucky. In year one of this project, we investigated the potential for different cereal rye cultivars to produce above-and below-ground biomass, scavenge N, and suppress weeds. Five cereal rye cultivars were planted, in addition to triticale, on two dates at Spindletop Farm in Lexington, KY. Cool season cereal rye cultivars produced more aboveground biomass and were associated with lower spring soil nitrate-N compared to warm season cereal rye cultivars and a bare soil control. Due to warm and wet weather conditions over the fall and early winter of 2018-19, the warm]season cereal rye cultivars had jointed early, and were harmed by the polar vortex temperatures experienced in January 2019. This response to unusual weather conditions highlight the need to repeat this experiment for an additional year to gain insight into the relationship between cultivar response and weather.
Effective start/end date9/1/194/30/21


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $20,000.00


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