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CEREAL RYE - GRDC · PDF file • 5Rye can cycle K from deeper in the soil profile for use by future crops. 5.1 Soil nutrient balance According to long-term trials in the USA, cover

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  • SOIL NUTRIENT BALANCE | CROP REMOVAL RATES | SOIL TESTING | PLANT AND/OR TISSUE TESTING FOR NUTRIENT LEVELS | NITROGEN | PHOSPHORUS | SULFUR | POTASSIUM | MICRONUTRIENTS | ALUMINIUM TOXICITY | NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES

    SOUTHERN SEPTEMBER 2018

    SECTION 5 NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

    CEREAL RYE

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    nutrition and fertiliser Key messages • Cereal rye has an extensive root system and is able to take up nutrients

    efficiently. Rye is generally more efficient at taking up nutrients than wheat, barley or oats.

    • Only rarely are strong symptoms of nutrient deficiency shown in rye crops. If symptoms are present, they are likely to be similar to those in wheat. 1

    • Rye can be planted on land that is not sufficiently fertile for other cereals such as wheat.

    • Rye can easily be over-fertilised, and harvesting may be very difficult if the rye lodges from too much nitrogen (N). 2

    • Rye has no taproot, bit its quick-growing, fibrous root system can take up and store as much as 45 kg N per ha, with 12–23 kg more typical. 3

    • Low N and potassium (K) can cause plant stress in rye. 4 • Rye can cycle K from deeper in the soil profile for use by future crops. 5

    5.1 Soil nutrient balance

    According to long-term trials in the USA, cover crops on average can reduce N loading by 28% and phosphorus (P) loading by 50%. Since 2008, 46 site-years have been conducted, with farmers reporting that in 42 of 46 site-years, properly managed cover crops had little or no negative effect on maize and soybean yield (and actually increased soybean yield in 4 site-years). 6

    Rye should be fertilised when grown for pasture or as a cover crop. Early application of N and P increases early growth, which improves winter groundcover. A spring topdressing with N is desirable where rye is pastured. Heavy N applications promote lodging in rye grown for grain. A moderate rate of manure is a good general fertiliser. 7

    5.1.1 Benefits of rye to soil health Trials in poor-quality soil at West Wubin in Western Australia have found that cropping cereal rye for three years increased soil organic carbon (SOC). SOC concentration increased in the topsoil by 27.8% in 2013 and 16.7% in 2014. This represents a total improvement of 47% since 2012 (Figure 1). However, there was little difference in SOC over the whole depth to 60 cm. 8

    1 M Wurst, R Brennan (2007) Winter cereal nutrition—the Ute Guide. GRDC, https://grdc.com.au/Resources/Publications/2007/05/Winter- Cereal-Nutrition-the-Ute-Guide

    2 UVM Extension Crops & Soils Team (2011) Cereal rye. Northern Grain Growers Association, http://northerngraingrowers.org/wp-content/ uploads/RYE.pdf

    3 L Martin (2015) Growing cereal rye to increase carbon and prevent wind erosion. Leibe Group, http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp- content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf ‘

    4 RH Schlegel (2013). Rye: genetics, breeding, and cultivation. CRC Press.

    5 Manure $ense (2009) Cereal rye: manure and livestock’s new best friend. Midwest Cover Crops Council, http://mccc.msu.edu/wp- content/uploads/2016/09/MI_2009_CerealRyeManure.pdf

    6 S Gailans (2015) Winter cereal rye cover crop effect on cash crop yield: results from long-term, on-farm research. Synergy in Science, https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Paper91725.html

    7 EA Oelke, ES Oplinger, H Bahri, BR Durgan, DH Putnam, JD Doll, KA Kelling (1990) Alternative field crops manual: Rye. University of Wisconsin Extension, https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/rye.html

    8 L Martin (2015) Growing cereal rye to increase carbon and prevent wind erosion. Liebe Group, http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp- content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf

    https://grdc.com.au/Resources/Publications/2007/05/Winter-Cereal-Nutrition-the-Ute-Guide https://grdc.com.au/Resources/Publications/2007/05/Winter-Cereal-Nutrition-the-Ute-Guide http://northerngraingrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/RYE.pdf http://northerngraingrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/RYE.pdf http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf http://mccc.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/MI_2009_CerealRyeManure.pdf http://mccc.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/MI_2009_CerealRyeManure.pdf https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Paper91725.html https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/rye.html http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf mailto:GrowNotes.South%40grdc.com.au?subject= mailto:GrowNotes.South%40grdc.com.au?subject=

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    Figure 1: 

    0

    0.1

    0.2

    0.3

    0.4

    0.5

    0.6

    0–10 10–20 20–30 30–60

    So il

    O rg

    an ic

    C ar

    bo n

    (% )

    Depth (cm)

    Average of 2012 Average of 2013 Average of 2014

    Average soil organic carbon percentage 2012–14, sampled from four depths. Source: Liebe Group

    In a trial at Karoonda, South Australia, N-mineralisation potentials were higher in soils after mustard, pasture and cereal rye than after wheat. Microbial activity was higher in the cereal rye soils than other crops mainly due to the abundant root growth and associated belowground carbon inputs. Microbial biomass levels after cereal rye were higher than after wheat, indicating the greater potential for immobilisation (temporary tie-up) of nutrients caused by wheat. These differences in microbial activity and nutrient mineralisation are due to the variation in quantity and quality of crop residues, reflected in the amount of mineral N in soil profile at sowing, e.g. higher mineral N levels after cereal rye than after wheat (Figure 2). 9

    Figure 2: 

    75

    65

    55

    45

    35

    25

    15

    Kg N

    /h a

    Mid-slope Swale

    * *

    *

    *

    * Wheat Mustard Rye Pasture

    Effect of rotation crops in 2009 on nitrogen supply potential in the surface 10 cm soil prior to sowing of a wheat crop in 2010. *Significant difference (P < 0.05) from the value after wheat crop within each site. 10

    A rye cover crop and manure applications are complementary. Manure nutrients aid in decomposition of the rye, offsetting any potential yield drag, and rye captures and recycles the manure nutrients effectively to future crops, reducing commercial fertiliser needs.

    9 V Gupta, S Kroker, D Smith, B Davoren, R Llewellyn,, A Whitbread (2011) Karoonda break crops trails—soil biology and rhizoctonia disease. Mallee Sustainable Farming, https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=BRO&pid=csiro:EP111477

    10 Gupta V, Kroker S, Smith D, Davoren B, Llewellyn R, Whitbread A. (2011). Karoonda break crops trails—soil biology and rhizoctonia disease Mallee Sustainable Farming, https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=BRO&pid=csiro:EP111477

    i MORE INFORMATION

    Liebe Group: Growing cereal rye to increase carbon and prevent wind erosion

    MsF: Karoonda break crops trails— soil biology and rhizoctonia disease

    http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=BRO&pid=csiro:EP111477 https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=BRO&pid=csiro:EP111477 http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf http://www.liebegroup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Case-Study-Jeff-Pearse-March-2015.pdf https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/download?pid=csiro:EP111477&dsid=DS3 https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/download?pid=csiro:EP111477&dsid=DS3 mailto:GrowNotes.South%40grdc.com.au?subject= mailto:GrowNotes.South%40grdc.com.au?subject=

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    Rye improves water quality because the plant’s extensive root system takes up excess soil N that would otherwise leach to contaminate groundwater or surface water bodies. This N is taken up by the plant, and then it slowly becomes available to subsequent crops as the residues gradually decompose.

    Rye roots can also extract P and other nutrients from deep in the soil profile and bring them to the surface, where they become available to subsequent crops. Expect considerable fertility improvement in the topsoil when growing rye as a catch crop. 11

    IN FOCUS Winter cover crop effects on soil organic carbon in soil. Winter cover crops may increase SOC levels or reduce their rate of depletion. Selection of appropriate cover crops to increase SOC requires knowledge of the quality and quantity of plant biomass produced and its rate of decomposition in soil. This study in the north-west United States examined the SOC and carbohydrate concentrations in soil as affected by several leguminous and non-leguminous cover crops in a temperate, humid region. With more than 4 Mg/ha of shoot biomass, cereal rye and annual ryegrass were better suited as winter cover crops for building SOC levels in this region than Austrian winter pea, hairy vetch, and canola. 12

    5.1.2 Fertiliser application Most varietie