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I planted rye for a food plot last September and it worked out okay. With hindsight I should've planted a couple weeks earlier but that's besides the point. I've read that you're supposed to kill it off the following spring but that didn't happen. Does anyone know what it'll look like come this fall? Will it all be dead? Overgrown? Anyone have any experience to share? Thanks in advance
 

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I planted rye for a food plot last September and it worked out okay. With hindsight I should've planted a couple weeks earlier but that's besides the point. I've read that you're supposed to kill it off the following spring but that didn't happen. Does anyone know what it'll look like come this fall? Will it all be dead? Overgrown? Anyone have any experience to share? Thanks in advance
Dead. Overgrown. Dead now. Seeds are getting eaten or might germinate in fall.

I plant mine with clover seed in the fall and leave the rye until I get a good forecast for cooler weather and rain then mow it down. I haven't mowed some of it yet.
 

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Your rye should be self terminating right now, complete with seed heads that are going to reseed itself this fall. It's pretty likely that your plot will be taken over by weeds before then though and reseeding will not be as thick as your original planting. I plant clovers and chicory with my fall cereal grains. They take over in the summer after the cereals head out and die.

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Rye is so hot right now.
Thanks to youtube. I have been interested in it for several years but haven't gotten to it yet. Been going through the list of "hot right now" plots, and rye is up next.

Thus far I am learning to expect a lot of hyperbole from the internet. People hype one thing that works well for them while completely trashing something that didn't work out. It's hard to sift through because what I've noticed is certain plants' draw is reliant on several factors to include location and timing, among others. Case in point is rye grass. There's not more hated or bashed seed on the internet. People swear deer won't touch it. But given my own experience, in a deep hardwoods plot after the acorns are gone & everything is brown, deer absolutely will munch on the rye grass. On the other hand, clover is seemingly the magic bean according to youtube and google, but I've had mixed results. One of my clover plots doesn't get a second look. Deer walk through it but they don't eat. In another spot they tear it up like I expected them to. The more I learn about any of this stuff, the more I realize how much I don't know.
 

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Thanks to youtube. I have been interested in it for several years but haven't gotten to it yet. Been going through the list of "hot right now" plots, and rye is up next.

Thus far I am learning to expect a lot of hyperbole from the internet. People hype one thing that works well for them while completely trashing something that didn't work out. It's hard to sift through because what I've noticed is certain plants' draw is reliant on several factors to include location and timing, among others. Case in point is rye grass. There's not more hated or bashed seed on the internet. People swear deer won't touch it. But given my own experience, in a deep hardwoods plot after the acorns are gone & everything is brown, deer absolutely will munch on the rye grass. On the other hand, clover is seemingly the magic bean according to youtube and google, but I've had mixed results. One of my clover plots doesn't get a second look. Deer walk through it but they don't eat. In another spot they tear it up like I expected them to. The more I learn about any of this stuff, the more I realize how much I don't know.
This might get longwinded but here’s where I’m at with it... I think rye grain is a game changer for me. I broadcasted it in most of my plots last fall, including soybeans. Was mixed with oats wheat peas and 2 or 3 annual clovers. And brassicas in some spots. So this spring I’m looking at lush green fields. Plan is to roll this all down over seed and then spray just to make sure it’s all dead. But as of late May I couldn’t do it... too worried about fawns and turkeys, and the plots just looked too good. But by this past weekend it was all mostly getting past its prime, so a walk through all with a broadcast seeder (and a good amount of tick repellant) is a good check for turkeys and fawns, and then I rolled it all with an old beat up cultipacker. About 3 acres, some is beans, some a screen mix including sunflowers, some is buckwheat, and the buckwheat sections will get rolled in early August for fall foodplots. If I had a crimper roller I could just about do away with Glyphosate, but I sprayed it just in case. Wherever the rye was growing, there were no weeds. No soil turned or disked this year, we just got rain and my hopes are high. So far I’m a spring grains / clovers cover crops fan.
 

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I haven't turned soil in a very long time! Winter rye has a place in my plots as a weed suppressor and soil builder, but for attraction I use winter wheat (and I always plant an awnless variety as I've found deer prefer their seed heads over bearded). Regional differences are a big deal... I can't get deer to eat turnips to save my life but others swear by them.

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Regional differences are a big deal... I can't get deer to eat turnips to save my life but others swear by them.
I agree 100%. Plots that work in OH don't work so well here in TN for me, and visa versa. Furthermore, immediate area makes as much difference. Plots that work in the woods don't do as well out around ag fields, and visa versa.
 

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I planted rye for a food plot last September and it worked out okay. With hindsight I should've planted a couple weeks earlier but that's besides the point. I've read that you're supposed to kill it off the following spring but that didn't happen. Does anyone know what it'll look like come this fall? Will it all be dead? Overgrown? Anyone have any experience to share? Thanks in advance
As soon as it stops raining, I will go out and take a couple pix to compare cereal rye that was trimmed down to near ground level and other that was left to seed out from last fall. I did a test plot as an extension of our garden last year with brassica in the center area and cereal rye on the perimeter. The local deer ignored my efforts, but I got some first hand experience with these two plot options. The turnips dried out and I pulled them out by hand late this spring. I left the rye to see what would happen.
 

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If your deer are eating rye grass, that should be a huge red flag about lack of natural browse and need for increased supplemental food plots if you cannot or will not improve the natural vegetation shortage.
 

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If your deer are eating rye grass, that should be a huge red flag about lack of natural browse and need for increased supplemental food plots if you cannot or will not improve the natural vegetation shortage.
In deep Appalachians there's not often a whole lot of places to put a plot big enough to feed deer, and native browse gets skimpy once acorns are gone. Even a strip of rye grass will pull deer to it.
 

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If your deer are eating rye grass, that should be a huge red flag about lack of natural browse and need for increased supplemental food plots if you cannot or will not improve the natural vegetation shortage.
I hope the OP and others are not talking Rye "GRASS", Rye Grass is garbage for plots and will grow and get out of hand.
Just to clarify: Rye Grass and food plots should NEVER be mentioned in the same sentence, Cereal Rye is a grain and should only be planted in the fall. It is terminated the next year early summer by mowing or spraying, it acts as an awesome nurse crop until that time.
 

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I hope the OP and others are not talking Rye "GRASS", Rye Grass is garbage for plots and will grow and get out of hand.
Just to clarify: Rye Grass and food plots should NEVER be mentioned in the same sentence, Cereal Rye is a grain and should only be planted in the fall. It is terminated the next year early summer by mowing or spraying, it acts as an awesome nurse crop until that time.
See post #6.
 

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Thanks to youtube. I have been interested in it for several years but haven't gotten to it yet. Been going through the list of "hot right now" plots, and rye is up next.

Thus far I am learning to expect a lot of hyperbole from the internet. People hype one thing that works well for them while completely trashing something that didn't work out. It's hard to sift through because what I've noticed is certain plants' draw is reliant on several factors to include location and timing, among others. Case in point is rye grass. There's not more hated or bashed seed on the internet. People swear deer won't touch it. But given my own experience, in a deep hardwoods plot after the acorns are gone & everything is brown, deer absolutely will munch on the rye grass. On the other hand, clover is seemingly the magic bean according to youtube and google, but I've had mixed results. One of my clover plots doesn't get a second look. Deer walk through it but they don't eat. In another spot they tear it up like I expected them to. The more I learn about any of this stuff, the more I realize how much I don't know.
If you have a clover plot that deer aren't using do a soil test and check for sulfur... or just go ahead and add some gypsum to the plot. Untouched clover likely needs it.

Rye grass is rumored to work in certain situations as mentioned above. The only people I know of saying it worked for them are north woods guys who have very little in the way of natural browse and can't get anything else to grow. Where I'm at it's not even a consideration.



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My cereal rye stays green through june and starts to fade in july. By fall it will be dead (yellow/brown), some of it will be still standing, others fall over by that time.

It all depends on what your goals are for the year.

- If you leave rye standing in the spring it will get tall by early summer, close to 6 feet here in MO. A clover/rye field left to grow creates excellent fawning cover and even bucks will bed in it. You can roll, mow or till it under for a nice fall brassica stand or reseed the rye in the fall again. Some volunteer rye will come back if you roll (press) it in.

- Another option is to terminate the rye earlier in the year (crimp, disc, till or spray) and then plant a summer plot like soybeans, buckwheat, sunflowers or any combination thereof.

Good luck!
 
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