Winter rye can be planted August-September for a late summer and over-winter cover. Stem elongation will not occur without vernalization (cold temperatures). Planted in August, rye will produce a thick cover, but usually less than one ton of dry matter of biomass before winter dormancy. It will grow rapidly in early spring. Terminate rye as a cover crop by late April before it grows too large.
Seeding rate: Seed rye for cover at 40-60 lbs per-acre; 80-100 lbs per acre for early spring forage.
Seeding depth: Drill 1-2” deep or broadcast and lightly till-in.
Fertility needs: Requires 40-60 lbs N for optimal growth (and 20 lbs P2O5 and 90 lbs K2O if for forage).
Management and termination:
Terminate chemically with 21 oz glyphosate per-acre before rye reaches 4” height
In a cover crop mix:
After wheat: Rye can be mixed with any of the brassica or legume cover crops. Cut seeding rate by 1/3 in mixes.
Research in Wisconsin: