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Seeding Rate

Winter rye is seeded at 1 million live plants per acre for crop production.  For cover crop, 40 lbs./acre is good rate for new growers.  Cover crop rates vary between 20 to 50 lbs/acre.  Generally, this is equivalent to approximately 1 bushel rye seed/acre for crop production. A bushel of rye is 56 lbs.  If rye is intended to be used as a late fall forage or spring pasture, seeding rate can be increased to a range of 1 - 2 bushels/acre. 

A target of 20 - 24 plants per square foot is wanted.  A detailed way to figure out rye seeding rate is below quoted from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Rye seeding depth is 1 to 1.5 inches .  Do not seed deeper than 2 inches as rye is the most sensitive to depth of all small grain crops.

Example1:

The following example shows how to calculate seeding rate in pounds per acre of fall rye with a 93 per cent germination rate, 33 grams per 1,000 kernel weight and a seedbed emergence mortality rate of 3 per cent. Target plant population is 20 plants per square foot.

Adjusting for germination (93%) and 3% mortality
= 20 plants
x ___1___
= 22 kernels
sq ft
(.93 - .03)


need to be sown per square foot to get 20 live plants

Then:

22 kernels
x ____33g____
x 1 lb*
x 43560 sq ft
= 70 lb/ac
1 sq ft
1,000 kernels
454g
ac

is the seeding rate needed.

 

Source:1 "Seeding Fall Rye" Agdex 117/20-1, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. 2011. "2012 Winter Wheat Variety Trial", NCREC Annual Report.  "Winter Rye: A Reliable Cover Crop", V. Grubinger, Univ. of Vermont Extension Service. 2010. NDSU Soil Health: Cover Crops

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