Rye grain

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by melvvin, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. melvvin

    melvvin

    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    803
    Location:
    Saginaw
    I have some questions about rye grain thought I could get them answered here. I hunt a chunk of private land that sits between 2 corn fields. The owner never let me plant anything before but this year the gasline easment that runs through the middle of the property had a leak. So it was dug up and the woods hinge cut on both sides. Its about 30 ft wide by 80 yards long. The owner told me if I wanted to plant it for deer go ahead but he didn't tell me this till early september. With little time I went to an elevator and bought a 50lb bag of rye grain seed and just threw it out by hand. It now is around 6 inces high and looking nice n green. 1st question is how high does this grow? Does it have to change into seed for the deer to start eating it or maybe sprout? Will it come back again next year or do you reseed? Is this more of a late season food for deer rather then right now? Any help would be appreciated thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. anon11252019

    anon11252019

    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    164
    I doubt you will see much more growth by winter (as far as height goes), but the plant stalk might get thicker. At some point, (let the experts chime in), the deer won't find the rye to be palatable. The rye should come up in the spring and can get 3' tall or taller. By July (my experience), the heads will dry out and the rye can be tilled back in (free seed!). But I have never seen a deer eat the seeds.
     

  3. Liver and Onions

    Liver and Onions

    Messages:
    18,905
    Likes Received:
    8,725
    Location:
    Mi.
    Your rye may grow a little more this fall, but not much. Next summer it will get to about chest high when headed out. You may get a minor amount to reseed itself, but not much. One and done. Deer will graze on your rye throughout the winter if not buried too deeply in snow. It could be mowed to the ground next spring if available to the deer during the winter. The deer will continue to graze on the rye until the alfalfa greens up in your area, most springs that would be around April 20th in the Saginaw area.
    From my experience, deer like rye the best when it is less than 4" high so they should have been feeding on your rye for the past month, that's why you do not want to plant too early in the late summer.

    L & O
     
  4. anon11252019

    anon11252019

    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    164
    I have planted rye as late as November (frost seed) and in fact planted rye last week so it would be ready by rifle season for the deer. I am surprised that your experience has been to see very little reseeding itself. I have planted in the fall, have it reseeded the next year and likewise with the next. There is a bit less the last year, but the second year is often thicker than the first year due to multiple seeds on each head of rye.
     
  5. souliog

    souliog

    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    31
    Early September is perfect for rye. You have a great plot for this year but it is new to your local deer herd. It will take time for them to adapt it into their routine.

    What is your surrounding ag like? This will most likely determine how big a draw it is.

    example: rye field in the middle of a mature UP forrest with no AG lands is a smash hit. That same field surround by thousands of acres of sugar beets, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa isn't as appealing.
     
  6. Liver and Onions

    Liver and Onions

    Messages:
    18,905
    Likes Received:
    8,725
    Location:
    Mi.
    On established fields where weeds and grasses have been tamed, yes you will get decent reseeding. He planted into a gasline easement which had been roughed up. The grasses are going to reclaim that area quickly.

    L & O
     
  7. anon11252019

    anon11252019

    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    164
    Good point!
     
  8. smith34

    smith34

    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    2,683
    Location:
    Hubb-wamo
    reseed rate also varies on how much of it gets eaten by the deer and turkeys too. (yes, the deer head the ripe seeds, I was watching them pass up the clover at their feet for the mature rye at face height. Like all of us, they like variety of foods and mature cereal grains are part of their diet)
     
  9. melvvin

    melvvin

    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    803
    Location:
    Saginaw
    Thanks for the great responses guys. I hardly ever start a thread on here because it usually ends up in a peeing match but not this time.