Cereal rye, winter wheat, triticale as a cover crop

Encyclopedia Article

Secale cereale (cereal rye)

Triticum aestivum (winter wheat)

X Tritisecale (triticale)

Type: cool season winter annual grass

Pros: good fit following silage or seed corn production; high potential to scavenge nutrients, suppress weeds, improve soil health, prevent erosion

Overwintering potential: yes

Planting date: late August through October

Ideal Seeding depth: 0.5” to 1.0” – rainfall/soil moisture needed to get good establishment

Seeding rate: drilled = 45 – 60 pounds per acre; overseeded = 60 – 75 pounds per acre

Cereal rye seedling. Photo courtesy of M. Licht, Iowa State University. 

* based on typical use timing in a corn and soybean cropping system.

References and Resources

SARE. 2007. Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd edition. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, College Park, MD.

MCCC. 2020. Cover Crop Selector Tool. Midwest Cover Crops Council, West Lafayette, IN.