Rye is working hard to shed its reputation for lower yields, weak agronomics and poor standability when compared to other grain crops.
With the arrival of new hybrid rye varieties in Ontario, it looks like rye’s days of being relegated to cover crop status in the province are over. Quite simply, growers, seed companies, agronomists and whisky makers are all high on hybrid rye.
In this video, RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson catches up with C&M Seeds general manager Ellen Sparry to discuss rye’s reputation remake. C&M released Ontario’s first hybrid rye, Brasetto, in 2015. The hybrid has performed well and has prompted Canadian whisky maker Hiram Walker & Sons Limited to offer an IP contract for 5,000 acres in the province, with the potential for further growth.
Sparry says C&M has had good uptake from farmers who’ve “experienced good yields and good income, so I’m sure they would like more acres.”
While yields for Brasetto typically hit the 70 bushels-per-acre mark, Johnson is also excited about the hybrid’s standability. “It’s a great fit for sand soils. The hybrid rye stands up and it yields,” he says.