Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Grazing small grains for a year before harvest?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Could rye be planted in the Spring, grow till the weather heated up, be grazed or mowed, come back in the Fall, go dormant over Winter, and be harvested the next Summer, thus having grown for 18 months or so?

I know there are special spring planted rye varieties which go to seed that summer. I know standard rye planted in the spring as a cover crop will NOT produce seed that year due to lack of vernalization. But would grazing/ mowing allow it to survive through that first summer?

And if it did, would it have a significantly earlier harvest?
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Saskatchewan
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Gilbert Fritz wrote:Could rye be planted in the Spring, grow till the weather heated up, be grazed or mowed, come back in the Fall, go dormant over Winter, and be harvested the next Summer, thus having grown for 18 months or so?

I know there are special spring planted rye varieties which go to seed that summer. I know standard rye planted in the spring as a cover crop will NOT produce seed that year due to lack of vernalization. But would grazing/ mowing allow it to survive through that first summer?

And if it did, would it have a significantly earlier harvest?



It should work. I know I have seen results from someone who planted winter rye, wheat or triticale 6-8 weeks before frost. It grows to ~6 inches in the fall. Then is grazed before snow falls. It was also grazed in early spring. The seed harvest was reduced with each grazing period, but the value of the forage was greater than the reduction of the value of the seed. This was done in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I will try to find the original data.
 
Leora Laforge
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Saskatchewan
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex4461

This looks like results from what I was thinking about.

Your idea would be worth trying in a small area, seed yield could end up being too low to be worthwhile harvesting though.
 
Posts: 28
Location: Central NY, Eastern Edge of Oneida Co. ,Town of Trenton
3
trees books food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have heard of this being done with rye before. Something about vikings and sheep and planting the rye at midsummer.

I do know that winter grains tend to die when there is too much top growth when it goes into dormancy, snow mold consumes the leaves on top and may get to the growing point. mowing is recommended if you have a warm fall in a bunch of publications I've read

I've also read that if you mow/graze the plants before they start tillering that they will tend to produce significantly more tillers, they will be about 2-3 weeks later than non-grazed

I'd say that you could definitely get an early cutting of hay off of it and maybe a second cutting in the fall

 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Leora!

That paper had just the information I'm interested in.

Among other interesting points, one spring grazing actually increased yield of grain, although further grazing decreased it.

William, that is good information. I'll have to look into viking rye growing.
 
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
dry stack retaining wall
https://permies.com/t/85178/dry-stack-retaining-wall
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!