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Winter rye

Winter rye (Secale cereale L.) belongs to the winter cereals of Group I and is one of the most important cereal crops in Russia.

Winter rye under the snow
Winter rye under the snow
Source: flickr.com
©Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)

Economic importance

For areas of the Non-Black Soil zone, winter rye is the main crop. Various types of bread are made from rye flour, which is characterized by its caloric value and good specific taste, contains complete proteins and vitamins (A, B1, B2, PP and E).

The protein content of rye grain ranges from 9.2 to 19%, depending on growing conditions and variety. It is inferior to wheat in digestibility but superior in biological value. The content of lysine, threonine and tyrosine in rye protein is higher than in wheat protein. Rye grain with the highest protein content is obtained in eastern Russia.

Whole and crushed grains, bran and flour are used as concentrated animal feed. 1 kg of grain equals 1.18 fodder units. Steamed rye straw is a coarse fodder, which can be used for ensilaging succulent plants, as bedding for livestock, making mats, paper (in countries where there is a shortage of wood). 1 kg of straw equals 0.21 fodder units. Cellulose, furfural, acetic acid, lignin are obtained from straw. When chopped, it serves as an organic fertilizer.

In some regions of Russia, fodder varieties of winter rye are sown for early green fodder. In this case, it grows early in the spring and gives a good yield of green mass, especially in mixture with winter vetch (shaggy). Thanks to the early harvest, it remains possible to harvest additional crops of postharvest crops such as corn, millet, buckwheat and potatoes.

Strong tillering and rapid growth of winter rye is a good way to suppress weeds. Winter rye for green fodder can serve as a good preceding crop for winter wheat, rye for grain for row crops and spring crops. After harvesting winter rye in some zones there is enough time left for cultivation of cold-resistant intermediate crops, for example, of the cabbage family for fodder or for green fertilizer.

History of crop

According to N.I. Vavilov, rye emerged from wild species in Southwest Asia in a weedy-field form, then was domesticated.

Rye was introduced into culture later than wheat, barley, and other cereal crops. The first mention of rye is found in the Roman writer Pliny (1st century B.C.). In the 3rd and 4th centuries, Slavic tribes sowed rye in the southern regions, such as the Kerch Peninsula. From there it gradually spread throughout the European part of Russia. Brief information about the cultivation of winter rye was written in the chronicle of Nestor (1056-1115). This crop came to Siberia in the 17th century with the Russian settlers.

The crop is predominantly winter rye. Spring rye, or “yaritsa,” is less productive and is cultivated in small areas.

Cultivation areas and yields

In 1982 winter rye accounted for 29.9 million tons or 4.1% of world grain production. The areas sown in the world were 17.6 million hectares, 9.8 million hectares of which were in the USSR. In 90s the area of winter rye sown in the world was 11 million hectares (1.6% of the total area of cereals), in Russia – 4 million hectares. The gross harvest in the world was 23 million tons, or 1.1% of the total grain production, with an average yield of 2.1 t/ha.

In the period 2001-2005, winter rye in Russia was sown on 2.9 million hectares, or 6.4% of the total area of grain crops. The gross yield was 5.2 million tons, or 6.6% of the total of cereals.

Winter rye is cultivated in many European countries, such as Germany, Poland, France, as well as in the United States. In the former USSR, winter rye is cultivated from the forest tundra to the southern regions of Ukraine, from the western regions of Belarus to the Transbaikal part of Eastern Siberia. In the Non-Black Soil zone with favorable natural conditions for winter rye cultivation, over 80% of the sown areas are concentrated in the Central Black Soil zone, in the south-east and northern regions of Ukraine – about 15%. In other regions of Ukraine and the North Caucasus, winter rye gives way to winter wheat. In the south, there are small areas in the highlands. In the steppe regions of Western and Eastern Siberia, rye usually yields less than spring wheat following fallow.

Winter rye is a highly productive crop, although it is inferior in yield to winter wheat, especially its new varieties.

In 1976-1980, winter rye yields averaged 1.41 t/ha, while winter wheat yields 2.43 t/ha. This is mainly due to the fact that winter rye is usually placed on the worst land after bad predecessors, it also receives little fertilizer. The high level of agrotechnics allows to receive high yields of winter rye.

Best production experience and the results of scientific research show that winter rye can have a yield of more than 4.0 t/ha if the cultivation technology is followed. For example, at the Borets state farm in the Moscow region in 1982, the yield was 5.08 t/ha, at the Kirov collective farm in Bashkiria, and at the Kirov collective farm in Bashkiria. Kirov collective farm in Bashkir region – 3.9 t/ha, in the collective farm “Rodina” of Vologda region – 3.87 t/ha.

Long-term data of variety trials of crops show that the yield on variety plots reaches 5-7 t/ha. For example, the Pokruyskiy variety plot (Lithuania) yielded 8.23 t/ha, the Volkovskiy variety plot of the Grodno Region (Belarus) – 6.61 t/ha, the Balevskiy variety plot of the Tula Region – 5.7 t/ha.

The average yield in 1997 was 1.87 cwt/ha.

The world’s leading producers of winter rye are Russia, Germany, Poland, France and the United States.

Morphological features

Rye (Secale cereale L.) has a fibrous root system penetrating into the soil to a depth of 1.5 m, more powerful than that of wheat.

The stem is a hollow straw up to 1-1.5 m high, with 5-7 internodes. Leaves are linear, broader than those of wheat. The uvula is short, rounded at the top. Ears are short, without cilia.

The inflorescence is an ear, including a shaft with one two-flowered (rarely three-flowered) spikelet on each ledge. The awns are serrated.

The seed is naked, elongate, narrowed towards the germ, with a deep groove and a hoop. Grain has a greenish, yellow, light brown, gray color. Weight of 1000 grains is 28 to 40 g.

A feature of winter rye is a strong tillering in the autumn, with the formation of up to 4-5 stems, and a fast spring regrowth. A cross-pollinating (wind-pollinated) plant. Ripens 8-10 days earlier than winter wheat.

Biological features

Temperature requirements

Winter rye seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 1-2 °C, at temperatures above 30 °C germination stops. The optimal temperature for sprouting is 6-12 °C. At 12-15 °C and optimal humidity, shoots appear in 4-5 days.

The sum of effective temperatures for germination is 50 °C, and for the passage of the period from seedlings to tillering – 67 °C. Rye begins to grow well at 10-12 °C, and at 4-5 °C germination and growth stop.

Of winter cereals, it is the most frost-resistant and winter-hardy due to the fact that cytoplasm does not denature during prolonged freezing. Under optimal cultivation conditions it withstands frosts down to -25 … -30 °C, at the depth of tillering node – down to -18 … -20 °C. The optimum temperature for earing and flowering is 14-16 °C.

The entire development cycle, from seed germination to grain ripening, requires 1800 °C; from the beginning of spring plant growth to grain ripening, 1200-1500 °C.

Moisture requirements

Winter rye is a relatively drought-resistant plant due to its powerful root system. Transpiration coefficient is 265 to 420. Maximum moisture consumption occurs during intensive growth – autumn earing and from emergence of a tube to earing. Lack of moisture during this period leads to the formation of small and unproductive ears.

Soil requirements

Thanks to its powerful root system, winter rye has fewer soil requirements than other grains. It grows well in the Non-Black Soil zone on sod-podzolic soils. Light and powerful chernozems are preferred.

According to D.N. Pryanishnikov, the root system of winter rye is characterized by an increased assimilation capacity, especially of hard-soluble phosphorus compounds. Therefore, phosphorite flour is applied to it, especially in the Non-Black Soil zone, where soils with high acidity are widespread. Soils are second only to oats in their ability to absorb potassium.

This crop may be cultivated on light loamy, sandy loam and loosened sandy soils as well as on soils with high acidity up to pH 5.3 and low salinity. Can grow on light soils with low moisture capacity, little suitable waterlogged, heavy clay soils, and newly developed soils. According to other data, viscous, clayey, very boggy and saline soils are not suitable for cultivation.

It is responsive to all methods of increasing the state of soil cultivation and increasing fertility.



Phases of growth of winter rye:

  • sprouting;
  • tillering;
  • emergence into the tube (tubing);
  • earing;
  • flowering;
  • milky ripeness of grain;
  • waxy ripeness of grain;
  • full ripeness of grain.


The tillering of winter rye usually ends in the fall, but in some cases it continues in the spring, especially when the autumn is cold and prolonged. The root system develops very quickly: by the end of tillering, the roots penetrate to a depth of up to 1 m. Unlike other cereal crops, the tillering node of winter rye is established close to the soil surface at a depth of 1.7-2 cm regardless of the depth of seed sowing. Because of an intensive autumn development, plants go to winter hardy enough. They start to grow quickly in the spring and develop well, strongly suppressing weeds.

Winter rye is more susceptible to suffocation and soaking than winter wheat, especially if the plants are overgrown in the fall.

The first growth phases – tillering and emergence into the tube – are faster than in winter wheat, but the earing and flowering phases are prolonged. The bushiness is stronger than in wheat, with up to 4-10 stems and productive 2-3 stems. After tillering, the phase of emergence into a tube begins in 19-20 days. In 30-35 days after the beginning of vegetation in spring, earing begins. This period is shorter in dry conditions and longer in humid and cool conditions.

It begins flowering 8 to 13 days after earing, with an average of 10-12 days of flowering. In warm weather, flowering lasts from morning until noon. Grain begins to form 4-5 days after fertilization. Milk ripeness occurs after 10-15 days and lasts 7-10 days. Wax (yellow) ripeness begins in 12 to 16 days. Depending on the weather and soil conditions, it can take anywhere from earing to waxing ripeness in 35 to 50 days.

Winter rye is a cross-pollinating plant. It is pollinated by the wind when the flowers are open. Under unfavorable conditions during flowering, such as heavy rainfall, lodging, or windy weather, some of the flowers are not fertilized, resulting in a cross-graining.

Winter rye is characterized by rapid growth in height. Before earing, growth reaches 5 cm a day. If sown too densely or with too much moisture and nitrogen supply, the plants may lodge.

Rye ripens more slowly than winter wheat, but it takes 6 to 10 days longer to harvest. Usually it takes 55 to 60 days after the beginning of earing to reach full ripeness.

After full ripeness, the physiological maturation of the grain takes 25-30 days.

The duration of the growing season in the northern regions is on average 350 days, in the central regions – 400 days, southern regions – 270 days.

The main factors provoking the lodging:

  • overgrowth of crops;
  • excess of moisture;
  • excess of nitrogen nutrition.

Crop rotation

Unlike winter wheat, winter rye is less demanding to predecessors. Nevertheless, under intensive farming conditions, to obtain yields of 4-5 t/ha it is better to place after bare, seeded, green manure fallows, leguminous crops or perennial legumes after the first mowing, on early potatoes, rape, annual grasses. In humidified areas of the Non-Black Soil zone it is placed after seeded fallows, for example, pea, vetch-oat, potato, etc.

In the central part of the Non-Black Soil zone, according to the data of the Field Experimental Station of the Moscow Agricultural Academy, the average 5-year yield of winter rye on potato fallow was 2.97 t/ha, while 8 t/ha of early potato tubers were additionally obtained; on maize fallow – 3.03 t/ha, while the yield of silage was 27.2 t/ha.

According to the data of the Kirov Agricultural Institute, on the average in 5 years after fallow occupied by vetch-oat mixture, 2.37 t/ha of winter rye grain and 3.58 t/ha of hay were harvested; after clover fallow – 2.52 t/ha of rye and 3.97 t/ha of hay; after bare fallow – 2.82 t/ha of grain. The total harvest of fodder units on occupied fallows is 35-51% higher than after bare fallow, and the digestible protein is 69-95% higher.

On sandy and sandy loam soils of the western regions of the Non-Black Earth zone with sufficient moisture, i.e. Smolensk and Bryansk regions and Belarus, winter rye is cultivated after green manure fallow cultivated with lupine.

The best predecessors for winter rye in arid eastern and southeastern regions are black and early fallows. Winter rye is sown on the same fallows in the north and northeast of European Russia, where the fallow-occupying crops do not have time to accumulate sufficient mass before sowing winter crops.

Winter rye gives good yields even when cultivated on the same field two years in a row. In the Moscow Agricultural Academy’s laboratory of crop production, the average yield over 5 years at repeated sowing was 2.85 t/ha, at sowing after potato fallow – 2.95 t/ha, after corn – 3.03 t/ha. Repeated sowing should be accompanied by the application of organic and mineral fertilizers.

Winter rye is a good predecessor for corn, potatoes, sugar beets, fodder crops, etc.

Fertilizer system

With a crop of winter rye 24-35 kg of nitrogen, 12-14 kg of phosphorus and 24-40 kg of potassium are taken per 1 ton of grain and corresponding amount of straw. Fertilizers are applied to the planned harvest taking into account soil fertility, nutrient removal and coefficients of their use. The maximum consumption of mineral nutrients is in the phases of tillering and emergence of a tube.

At the intensive technology of cultivation nitrogen fertilizers required less than for winter wheat.

Calculation of fertilizer rates is based on soil diagnosis of the availability of nutrients, the planned yield.

Acidic soils are subject to liming.

Basic fertilizer

Manure is used as the basic fertilizer for winter rye. Application rates on sod-podzolic soils and in areas with sufficient moisture are 30-40 t/ha, on chernozems and in dry conditions – 15-20 t/ha, on light soils – 30-50 t/ha. Manure gives a yield increase in almost all regions. Its efficiency increases as soil water regime improves. Average yield increase from application of manure for Non-Black Soil zone is 0.6-0.8 t/ha, for Central Black Soil zone – 0.4-0.6 t/ha, for South-East – 0.2-0.3 t/ha.

The effect of manure on sod-podzolic soils increases at its joint application with phosphate meal. Annual norm of manure-phosphate compost application is 10-15 tons of manure mixed with 300-400 kg of phosphate meal.

On sandy and sandy loam soils of the Non-Black Soil zone green fertilization is effective. For this purpose, sow a fallow in the spring one-year lupine, seradella or other crops. Green mass in the phase of blue beans for 2-2.5 weeks before sowing rye plowed. Yield increase from such method reaches 0,8-1,0 t/ha.

Only mineral fertilizers may be applied under winter rye. In Schekino district of Tula region on leached and podzolized black earth, with a grain yield of winter rye 3,5-3,8 t/ha, made: under the presowing P40K60, at sowing in the rows of P2O5 10-15, early spring fertilizing – N50 kg/ha.

In the basic fertilizer is made potash fertilizer in full, most of the phosphorus, and 20-30% of the total amount of nitrogen. Simultaneous embedding of fertilizers increases their effectiveness by 1.5 times. For the basic application solid or liquid forms of fertilizers are used. The latter are sown to a depth of 12-30 cm.

Row fertilizer

Row fertilization with granulated superphosphate (P20) is of great importance in increasing winter rye yields. Complex fertilizers are also used.

According to the All-Russian Institute of Fertilizers and Agrosoil Science, the pre-sowing of 10 kg/ha of P2O5 in rows increased the yield by 0.3 t/ra. Row fertilization improves plant nutrition in the initial period of development and increases resistance to adverse conditions.

Ttop dressing

Spring fertilization of winter rye with mineral fertilizers is quite effective. Overwintered plants tend to be weakened and depleted, especially in need of nitrogen nutrition. In insufficiently thawed cold soil, nutrients are poorly accessible to plants, so fertilize as early as possible before the start of regrowth. For this purpose, ammonium nitrate in the rate of 80-100 kg/ha, or N30-45 is usually used.

Autumn or spring fertilizing should be carried out taking into account the soil and leaf diagnostics of plant nutrition.

According to the All-Russian Institute of Fertilizers and Agrosoil Science, fertilizing winter rye in the Nonchernozem zone with ammonium nitrate increased the yield by 0.3 t/ha on average.

The greatest need for nitrogen is noted in the phase of tillering – emergence of a tube.

Feeding winter rye in early spring is carried out as well as winter wheat, across the rows, for example, seeders СЗ-3,6.

Fertilizing from an airplane is effective, as the fertilizers are spread evenly across the surface, reducing the period of work.

Autumn fertilization is carried out when sowing winter rye after the seeded fallows and non-fallow preceding crops, as well as if before sowing fertilizer was not applied or were introduced in insufficient quantities.

In experiments of Bashkir Agricultural Institute the increase in yield of winter rye going after seeded fallow, at autumn fertilization was – 0.38 t/ha, at spring fertilization – 0.25 t/ha.

In conditions of moisture deficit, root feeding with complex fertilizer is carried out on dried soils.

Tillage system

Main article: Tilling for winter crops

When placing winter rye after the seeded and bare fallows, the system of tillage is similar to the tillage for winter wheat. In the seeded fallows are sown early harvested crops, which are harvested no later than three weeks before sowing rye.

In experiments of the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Central regions of the Non-Black Soil zone the yield of winter rye after potatoes harvested on August 2 was 2.76 t/ha, on August 10 – 2.44 t/ha and on August 20 – 2.29 t/ha.

After harvesting a fallow-occupied crop, the field is ploughed to a depth of 22-25 cm with subsequent harrowing. If the soil is not ploughed even for a short time, it dries out, which also complicates its processing. For quality mouldboard tillage we use ПВР-3,5 devices to semi-mounted 8-9-horse ploughs or ПВР-2,3 to semi-mounted ПЛП-6-35.

When placing winter rye after potatoes or other row crops plowing can be replaced by discing to a depth of 8-10 cm with simultaneous harrowing.

When sowing after clover fallow, vetch-oat mixture tillage includes discing to a depth of 6-8 cm, the introduction of organic fertilizers, plowing to a depth of 22-25 cm and pre-cultivation to a depth of seeding.

After mixed vetch-oats and peas (if organic fertilizers were not brought) and in the years with dry autumn, it is economically advisable to apply surface tillage which includes discing immediately after harvesting with harrow БДТ-7,0, БД-10, ЛДГ-10 and subsequent cultivation КПЭ-3,8A at the depth of 6-8 cm for leveling the sowing bed. In the experiments of the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Central regions of the Non-Black Earth zone the yield of winter rye variety Voskhod 2 at surface tillage was – 5.24 t/ha, at plowing – 5.04 t/ha. In years with dry autumn, the yield at the surface tillage was 0.37 t/ha higher than at plowing.

Pre-sowing cultivation is carried out before sowing by КПШ-9 or КСП-4Г cultivators to the depth of sowing. Good results are obtained when using combined aggregates, for example, РВК-3,6, РВК-5,4, РВК-7,2, КФГ-3,6, АКР-3,6 or ВИП-5,6. 

The quality of pre-sowing processing is assessed by the number of lumps of size from 1 to 5 cm, which should be at least 80%. There should be no lumps larger than 10 cm. Presowing processing is carried out at an angle to the main one, the overlap between the adjacent passes should be 15-20 cm. The best way of aggregate movement is shuttle. 


Seed preparation

For sowing winter rye use sorted seeds with purity not less than 97% and germination not less than 90% of I and II class of sowing conditions. Before sowing, it is treated against hard stem bollworm, fusarium and helminthosporiosis with 80% gMTD or pentathiuram at a rate of 1.5-2 kg of the preparation per 1 ton of seeds. The ПС-10А, ПСШ-5, Mobitox machines can be used for treatment.

Dressing is combined with treatment with micronutrients and retardants, for example, CeCeCe 460, and film-forming compositions (2% Na-KMC solution).

In northern areas, seeds of the previous year’s crop are taken for sowing, since freshly harvested seeds have reduced germination. According to the experiments of the Moscow Agricultural Academy’s laboratory of crop production, the germinating capacity of freshly harvested winter rye seeds immediately after harvesting was 38%, in a week after harvesting – 69%, after two – 74%, after three – 89%, after a month – 96%.

Yield of winter rye variety Vyatka on average over 3 years was 1.95 t/ha when sowing with freshly harvested seeds, pre-warmed – 2.31 t/ha, when sowing with seeds of the previous year’s harvest – 2.34 t/ha.

In the absence of previous year’s crop seeds, freshly harvested seeds are heated in the sun for 3-5 days or in dryers with active ventilation at 45-50 °C, reducing humidity to 14-15%.

Timing of sowing

Late sowing of winter rye results in the overwintering of insufficiently hardened plants with the risk of partial frost. Sowing too early is associated with the risk of severe overgrowth and suffocation.

Based on many years of experience in each region of Russia, approximate sowing dates have been determined. In most cases, they are longer than for winter wheat. Winter rye is sown:

  • in the Non-Black Soil zone – from August 5 to 25;
  • in the Central Black Earth zone – from August 15 to September 1;
  • in the southern regions – from September 25 to October 10.

Winter rye is optimally planted at an average daily temperature of 15 °C. Maximum sowing time is when the average daily temperature drops to 10° C. In order to ensure that plants have time to form 3-4 stems in autumn, which is optimal for overwintering, the period from sprouts to the end of autumn vegetation should last at least 45-50 days with a total average daily temperature of 420 ± 60 °C.

Sowing methods

Sowing of winter rye is carried out by conventional row or narrow-row method. Narrow-row sowing is more effective, as a more uniform distribution of seeds over the area is achieved. Compared to the usual row, it gives a yield increase of 0.1-0.2 t/ha.

The optimal direction of rows is from north to south, which improves illumination in the rows and reduces overheating of plants in the midday hours.

When sowing, it is advisable to leave a technological track.

Seeding rates

Approximate seeding rates (for Russia and former USSR countries):

  • in the Non-Chernozem zone – 5.0-7.0 million/ha of germinated seeds (160-200 kg/ha);
  • in the Central Black Earth zone – 4.5-6.0 million/ha of germinated seeds (150-170 kg/ha);
  • in Ukrainian Polissya – 4-5 mln/ha of germinated seeds;
  • in the Volga region – 3.5-5.5 million/ha of germinating seeds;
  • in the forest-steppe – 3.8-5.5 million/ha of germinated seeds;
  • in the Northern Caucasus (steppe regions) – 4.0-4.5 million/ha of germinating seeds;
  • in the Urals, Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan – 6-6.5 million/ha of germinating seeds (160-180 kg/ha).

As you move from wet areas to dry ones, seeding rates decrease. On well-tilled and fertilized fields, they are reduced by 0.3-0.5 mln/ha of seeds. If the delay with the sowing rates increase by 8-10%, when placed on the sandy and sandy loamy soils rates increase by 8-10% to the rate adopted for the zone.

With intensive cultivation technology seeding rates are reduced.

Sowing depth

Winter rye makes the tillering node at the soil surface, so its seeds are sown shallower than winter wheat, to a depth of 4-5 cm.

On heavy and sufficiently moist soils, it is sown to a depth of 3-4 cm, and on light and well-drained soils, to a depth of 5-6 cm. The depth of sowing of shallow seeds is reduced.

Crop care

When placing winter rye after non-fallow forecrop in dry autumn, post-sowing rolling of crops with ring-spiked or ring-toothed rollers such as ЗККШ-6, ККН-2,8 is used. It contributes to fast and uniform emergence of seedlings and better overwintering.

To protect plants from soaking in autumn in the closed lowlands, barrier rolls are arranged or wells are put down to the water-permeable subsoil layer. Such methods of moisture drainage, for example, are used in Leningrad, Pskov and other northwestern regions.

Spring harrowing of crops with tooth harrows БЗСС-1 is common in winter rye care. This method allows to loosen the top layer of soil compacted during the winter, which reduces the moisture consumption for evaporation and improves aeration. Harrowing removes dead leaves and weeds, which are hotbeds of diseases and pests in crops.

Harrowing requires 4-5 days in spring because of the rapid development of plants, so it begins when the soil is physically mature, as soon as it stops sticking and is easy to loosen. Too early harrowing, as well as later, is ineffective.

On heavy and medium-consolidated soils with well bushing winters crops harrowing is carried out with heavy harrows БЗТС-1 across the rows in two tracks on light soils with poorly developed plants – light harrows in one track.

According to long-term data of experimental institutions, timely harrowing increases winter rye yield by 0.2-0.3 t/ha.

Plant protection system

Chemical weeding of winter rye crops as a rule is not carried out, since due to rapid growth and high stem height rye suppresses weeds well, but on thin crops in the cultivation of low-stemmed varieties herbicides are used to control weeds. Treatment of crops with simazine after sowing at a rate of 0.25 kg/ha a.s. or in the tillering phase with 2,4-D amine salt at a rate of 0.6-1 kg a.m. is effective.

Control of pests and diseases is the same as for winter wheat.

The most common diseases of winter rye include root rot, snow mold, and brown rust. Pests include Swedish and Hessian flies, green-eye, bread beetle, winter moth, aphids, and click beetles.

Earlier, to prevent lodging of crops, camposan retardant was used in the phase of the beginning of emergence in the rate of 2-3 kg/ha a.s. Treatment with a mixture of camposan M and tur at a dosage of camposan M 0.75-1 kg/ha and tur 1.8-2 kg/ha a.d. is more effective. Currently, the preparation CeCeCe 460 is used for this purpose at the rate of 1.5-2.5 g/l.


Winter rye ripens evenly, the grain begins to shatter heavily when overripe, and can sprout (in windrows and at the root) in wet and warm weather. Therefore it is harvested in a short time (8-10 days) by a two-phase or a single-phase method.

The two-phase harvesting during the period of wax ripeness allows the grain and long wet stems to dry well in windrows, first of all in thin layers on the stubble 25-30 cm high, and accelerates post-harvesting ripening of the grain. Mowing is carried out when the humidity of the grain is 35-20%, i.e. from the middle to the end of wax ripeness).

Harvesting by a single-phase method is carried out in the period of full grain ripeness in areas with high humidity. The humidity of the grain during direct harvesting is 18-15%.

Single-phase method may also be used for single crops.

For harvesting lodged winter rye the best results are obtained with the movement of harvesting units across the lodging or at an angle to it.

Varieties of winter rye

According to the classification proposed by V.D. Kobylianskii, the rye genus Secale L. is represented by four species divided into two sections.

The first section (cplismenolepis Nevski) is densely closed scaly rye, which unites wild species: wild rye (Secale siloestre Host), Iranian rye (Secale iranicum KobyI) and mountain rye (Secale montanum (Guss)). Within this species, there are subspecies – montanum (Typus), Kurgijanovii (Grossh), anatolicum (Boiss), and ofricanum (Stapf).

The second section (Secale) has one species, sown rye (Secale cereale L.), which includes all forms of cultivated and weed-field rye, annual and perennial rye, cultivated forms of diploid and tetraploid rye. The species has five subspecies: grain rye (Secale L.); Vavilov rye (vavilovii (Grossh) Kobyl); tetraploidum Kobyl; Derzhavin rye (derzhavinii (Fzvel) Kobyl); Tsitsin rye (tsitsinii Kobyl).

Each subspecies is represented by varieties differing in spike shape (typical rye, branched-lobed, blackberry, wheat-like), spike color (white, red, brown, black), grain position in the scales (open or closed) and pubescence of outer floral scales (naked, pubescent).

Of all the varieties, common rye (var. vulgare Korn) is the most important variety with a typical white rye spike, open or semi-open grain, and bare outer flower scales. The spike shaft is not brittle. All cultivated varieties belong to this variety. Over 50 varieties were released in the USSR.


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