Sitka Gear
Question about cereal rye
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
c5ken 19-Apr-24
t-roy 19-Apr-24
Zbone 19-Apr-24
Nyati 19-Apr-24
Catscratch 19-Apr-24
Zbone 19-Apr-24
c5ken 29-Apr-24
sticksender 29-Apr-24
drycreek 29-Apr-24
t-roy 29-Apr-24
c5ken 29-Apr-24
Vonfoust 30-Apr-24
c5ken 30-Apr-24
Zbone 02-May-24
drycreek 02-May-24
c5ken 02-May-24
From: c5ken
19-Apr-24
Last August I planted a 3ac food plot with Ladino clover and a cover crop of cereal rye. Both came up great in the fall of '23.

This spring the cereal rye is about 8" & the clover appears to be doing good under the rye. I was of the understanding that cereal rye comes up once then dies. Is this true??

From: t-roy
19-Apr-24
Fall planted rye will go somewhat dormant in the late fall and winter (in midwest/northern climates), then it will start growing again in the spring, will produce a head, then ripen and die in early summer.

From: Zbone
19-Apr-24
Yes, and if you mow it at this time of year it is done, it will not continue growing at least that is what seems of what I've planted... I'm about ready to mow mine which I do after the first of May...

From: Nyati
19-Apr-24
I wait till late June . The rye dosen't prevent deer from browsing clover and it provides structure and cover for fawns bedding. I leaned that the hard way years ago by bushhogging a young fawn middle of May that held tight and let bushhog run right over it . I was cutting winter wheat over my clover . Humans want food plots to look pretty. Deer just want to eat and bed in them. They don’t care if they look pretty.

From: Catscratch
19-Apr-24
I'm with Nyati on this. In fact I plant awnless wheat as a nurse crop because I see more deer eating the heads than the bearded varieties.

From: Zbone
19-Apr-24
Wish I could allow mine to grow to June but mine is so full off weeds if I don't get a handle on them early, they'll grow to far out of hand for my mower on the highest setting...

From: c5ken
29-Apr-24
So if I understand, I should let the Rye do its thing & blossom. After that it will die off.... correct??

Should I mow the clover this season? It was planted late August '23.

From: sticksender
29-Apr-24
If you have a solid stand of Rye on productive soil, and you do let it mature, you'll have an ocean of straw standing 3-4 feet high by early summer. Probably just fine if you're not going to plant anything new in there this fall, and are not worried about mowing it. Myself I typically don't let Rye mature, that way I don't have to deal with all that bulk. It's much easier to manage when it's still short in the spring.

From: drycreek
29-Apr-24

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
My deer like that rye so much it never had a chance to get very tall. When they finally stopped eating it so much it finally got to about a foot to eighteen inches and I sprayed it and mowed it. It has been raining so much I can’t plant it yet. Got three more inches last night !

From: t-roy
29-Apr-24
Agree with sticksender^^^ Also, if you do let it get ripe and die, you will also have a lot of volunteer rye sprout in late summer/early fall, which is ok, but it could end up growing thicker than you want it to.

From: c5ken
29-Apr-24
My objective is to get a healthy, lush clover crop which is growing under the rye. So, should I mow prior to the rye ripening or let it ripe & die?

From: Vonfoust
30-Apr-24
IMO mow it.

From: c5ken
30-Apr-24
OK Im going to mow it. It's about 12/18" tall. Should I mow it now??

From: Zbone
02-May-24
Mine is about the same height and started to get that purple hue, I mowed mine off today...

From: drycreek
02-May-24

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
This plot was about 50% rye and the rest a Green Cover blend. I crimped it after seeding and fertilizing. It had a lot of annual clover in itand it seemed ok after crimping, but I haven’t been back over there in a few days because it’s been raining. May look at it tomorrow though. I’m trying to get away from discing and go the regenerative method.

From: c5ken
02-May-24
I mowed my plot yesterday down to about 6". The clover under the rye looks good in most of the plot.

Thanks for the advice...

  • Sitka Gear