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Does Rye Residue Affect the Corn Crop? (5/18/17)

Question: Does rye breakdown residues (allelopathy) affect corn the same way quackgrass residue does? Can a grower plant corn after killing a fall planted cover crop of rye at 1/3 bu/A?

Does Rye Residue Affect the Corn Crop?

Question: Does rye breakdown residues (allelopathy) affect corn the same way quackgrass residue does? Can a grower plant corn after killing a fall planted cover crop of rye at 1/3 bu/A?

Answer: The amount of biomass may be the most important factor. It is doubtful that 1/3 bu/A would leave enough biomass to cause concern. With corn, the greatest risk is if you were trying to grow the rye and corn together (early in the season), in which case the rye would be very competitive. However, rye residue could be an issue in some cases. There is limited research to provide an accurate answer - it may or may not be ok.

The best evidence is from an Extension article from Bob Hartzler, Weed Scientist, Iowa State University.

http://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews/2014/04/cereal-rye-cover-crops-allelopathy-and-corn

An accurate finding is that allelopathy is more effective on small seeds.

Mike Ostlie

Research Agronomist / Carrington Research Extension Center

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