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Cereal rye: an excellent winter forage

Late autumn and early winter growth makes Cereal Rye an attractive - and economical - over winter crop for livestock farmers. It is most commonly used as a green manure but also makes a superb grazing crop.

Seed can be drilled as late as October into a well prepared seed bed and can be grazed from December in most years. If managed well, the crop will provide forage right through the winter into March with its unrivalled early spring growth helping to fill the 'hungry gap'.

This crop has another huge benefit: it is an excellent green manure. It is the best crop of all for mopping up available nitrates in the soil and its huge root mass also adds large quantities of valuable organic matter.  Its leafy coverage will also supress weeds.  When incorporated in the spring, the nitrogen held by the plant is slowly released so becoming available to the subsequent crop.

Date Posted: 5th March 2012


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