Carrington Research Extension Center


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Winter Rye Variety Evaluations at the CREC


The 2017 spring is off to a slow start at the CREC with very little spring seeding going on and essentially no emergence of spring planted grains. Fall sown cereal crops are a different story though with winter wheat, winter triticale, and winter rye growing despite the cool soil and weather conditions. It is quite evident that winter rye is growing more compared to the other cereals as it has the ability to grow under these cool conditions with significant growth as observed in the photograph below. It is also apparent that differences in winter hardiness, vigor and early season growth exist amongst the varieties planted at the CREC this spring. These traits are important as winter rye is increasingly being used for cover crop applications in North Dakota.

Early growth of winter rye in the organic variety trial.

Winter survival and early vigor differences in the conventional winter rye variety trial direct seeded into flax stubble.

Rye3Winter survival and early vigor differences in the organic winter rye variety trial sown into cultivated (bare) dry bean ground that had hail damage last year.

Trials were planted in the fall of 2016 by CREC staff to evaluate varieties for grain yield (both conventional and organic), forage production, tolerance to saline conditions, and an off station site near Wishek for grain production. The CREC also coordinates the state variety testing program and sent the varieties to Research Centers at Minot, Hettinger, Langdon, and Williston.

Variety trial data is available from individual Research Extension Center Annual reports, Extension Bulletin A1049-16 or the NDSU variety trial website below. A list of varieties currently planted at all sites is also listed below.


1979 release from University of Wisconsin


1993 release from University of Wisconsin


1973 release from University of Minnesota

ND Dylan

New NDSU release in 2016


NDSU release in 1989, only common seed available


Early variety used for cover crop released by USDA in 1981

AC Hazlet

High yielding variety from Canada released in 2006


Late variety from Michigan State University released in 1971


New hybrid winter rye from KWS Germany

Rye4An early NDSU winter hardy experimental being developed at the CREC for cover crop use.

 Steve Zwinger

Agronomy Research Specialist

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