Hybrid Rye Evaluation Update

Posted: August 25, 2015

After two years of testing, hybrid ryes (“not your father’s rye”) are impressive.

We conducted another set of evaluations this year of some of the hybrid rye as we have done in 2014. This year we compared two hybrid ryes, Brasetto and Guttino at planting populations of 700,000 and 1.0 million seeds /acre to a conventional rye, Danko, planted at the common seeding rate of 1.5 million seeds per acre or approximately 2 bushels per acre. Danko has yielded much better than some of the cover crop ryes like Aroostook and performed well in Cornell's trials in 2014.

We planted our trials and at both Landisville and Rock Springs. The Landisville trial was planted on October 6. The Rock Springs trial was planted on October 2 but then was abandoned and replanted on November 10. This was unfortunate, but does replicate the late plantings of rye that occur following full season crops. Both crops were topdressed with 100 pounds of N in the spring as UAN.

In the Lancaster trial, the Brasetto hybrid rye averaged just over 100 bushels per acre, with no response to increasing the seeding rate to 1.0 million seeds/acre. The Guttino hybrid yielded 89.1 with no advantage for the higher seeding rate. Both had very good yields compared to historic rye grain yields. The Danko also yielded fairly well at 86 bu/acre, but less than Brasetto. The hybrids tended to be 5-6 inches shorter than the Danko. We had some lodging in the trial, likely associated with the heavy June rains and grain yield on these crops.

Winter Rye Performance in Lancaster County, 2015
Variety Seeding Rate/acre Yield, bu/A Bu Wt (lbs) Height (in.) Lodging (0-5, 0=best)
Brasetto 700K 101 50.5 43 4
Brasetto 1 million 100 51 44 4.3
Guttino 700K 93.2 50.6 42 4
Guttino 1 million 85.1 50 42 4.3
Danko 1.5 million* 86.2 51.7 49 4.3
93.1 50.8 43.9 4
LSD (.05)

LSD (.25)

CV %

Planting Date: 10/6/14. Fall fertilizer: None. 100 lb N applied as UAN on April 2, 2015.
Prepared by: Mark Antle, Greg Roth, and Austin Kirt, Department of Plant Science
* Approximately 120 lbs/acre

In the late planted trial, yields were lower and the difference between the Brasetto hybrid and Danko was negligible.In this trial, the crop just barely emerged by winter and had no fall tillering. So the higher seeding rate of the conventional Danko variety was advantageous here. The test weight in this trial was a bit lower, probably since most of the grain came from spring tillers.

Winter Rye Performance in Centre County, 2015
Variety Seeding Rate/acre Yield,bu/A Bu Wt (lbs) Height (in.) Lodging (0-5, 0=best)
Brasetto 700K 55.8 45.9 38 2
Brasetto 1 million 57.8 47.3 38 2
Guttino 700K 46.7 43.8 36 1.5
Guttino 1 million 45.7 45 37 2.5
Danko 1.5 million* 57.5 48.6 43 2.5
52.7 46.2 38 2.1
LSD (.05)

LSD (.25)

CV %

Planting Date: 11/10/14. Fall fertilizer: 200lb 10-20-20. 100 lb N applied as UAN on April 6, 2015.
Prepared by: Mark Antle, Greg Roth, and Austin Kirt, Department of Plant Science
* Approximately 120 lbs/acre

The conclusion of these studies is that the hybrid rye Brasetto has high yield potential at lower seeding rates, when planted early in the fall and fertilized similar to winter wheat. In these later planting scenarios, the higher seeding rates in the Danko variety makes it more yield competitive. To optimize yield and quality early planting is essential. The final conclusion is that based on this and previous studies, both the hybrids and the Danko variety appear to have much greater grain yield potential than some of the common rye varieties we use for cover cropping.

The Brasetto hybrid is marketed by Seedway and requires an agreement that the grain will not be used for seed. Danko is also available from Seedway but might be available from other sources as well.

Contact Information

Gregory W. Roth
  • Professor of Agronomy
Phone: 814-863-1018