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Is growing rye an option for your farm?

Growing rye is becoming more of an option for farmers in recent years and on the latest episode of the Tillage Edge, Michael Hennessy speaks to Tipperary farmer, Gerard O’Mara, Teagasc tillage specialist, Ciaran Collins, and Teagasc adviser, Conor Kavanagh, to find out more.

Gerard O’Mara, has been successfully growing rye for the past number of years and he has increased the acre of rye on his farm at the expense of winter wheat and spring barley area.  Gerard is quite happy with the crops performance on his farm but points out that harvesting is slower due to the high volume of straw.

Ciaran Collins, a tillage specialist in Teagasc, points out that rye can be useful to extend rotations and potentially replace second wheats on the farm.  Ciaran maintains that despite the crop being referred to as a low input crop, rye does require a reasonable level of inputs.  He added the crop is high yielding therefore it requires a lower input per unit of output (compared to winter wheat).

Ensuring there is a clear market for the rye grain is also very important according to Conor Kavanagh, Teagasc advisor in Tipperary (and Gerard’s advisor).  Conor added that rye grain is very flexible for feed in ruminants and very suitable for pig feed and there is a small market for distilling.  

For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast go to: teagasc.ie/thetillageedge

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