Michigan Grown Staple Crop Seeds that Fit Your Plant-based Nutritional Goals

Rye


Rye (Secale cereale) cross-pollinates readily, which is why on our small-scale production level, we are only able to grow one variety at a time.

However: "Rye is very cold tolerant, the hardiest and most disease resistant of the winter cereals. Fall rye has an extensive fibrous root system, can scavenge nitrogen very effectively, and utilizes early spring moisture to grow rapidly. Fall rye is faster growing and earlier maturing in the spring than the other winter cereals, including wheat, barley and triticale. This enables an earlier forage harvest and more "double crop" options."[1]

 

From the Alternative Field Crop Manual at Purdue University: 
"Cultivated rye (Secale cereale) is believed to have originated from either S. montanum, a wild species found in southern Europe and nearby parts of Asia, or from S. anatolicum, a wild rye found in Syria, Armenia, Iran, Turkestan, and the Kirghis Steppe. Rye was found as a weed widely distributed in wheat and barley fields in southern Asia. It apparently had coevolved with wheat and barley for over 2,000 years until its value as a crop was recognized. Rye was brought to the western hemisphere by the English and Dutch who settled in the northeastern areas of what is now the United States. The average production in the United States in 1987-89 was about 15.9 million bushels on some 2.3 million acres. The leading states in rye production are South Dakota, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Minnesota. In 1930 Minnesota grew 7.2 million acres of rye for grain, while in 1989 there were 32,000 Minnesota acres harvested and Wisconsin harvested rye from 6,000 acres. The average yield in 1920 was 17 bushels per acre, while in 1989 it was 34 bushels in the Upper Midwest.

Although rye flour does not develop true gluten, it has proteins which give it the capacity for making a nutritious leavened bread. Rye is usually mixed with 25 to 50% wheat flour for bread making."

Note, a bushel of rye is 56 lbs!


[1] Source: Double Cropping Fall Rye for Extra Forage