Winter Rye Useage?

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by SwampCat, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
    SW AR
    Hardiness Zone:
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    This is my first year to plant rye on my own place. I have one plot that is about 6 or 7 acres and I planted half in wheat and half in rye. The deer will feed while walking across the half planted in rye - on their way to the wheat side. Once in the wheat side, they might feed for thirty minutes. My deer much prefer wheat. Maybe if wheat wasnt available, they would eat the rye just as much. Do deer have to acquire a liking for rye?
     
  2. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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    Putting what benefits the soil, aside, my deer always preferred oats, then wheat, then cereal rye.
     
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  3. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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    And "right now", clover is King on my property ..... hands down.
     
  4. Foragefarmer

    Foragefarmer Member

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    Location:
    Central, Va.
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    From my experience I think FarmerD has the cereal grain preference order correct. That being said I plant rye because it is winter hardy, has a lower nitrogen demand, and I get more tonnage in the spring for when I turn my cattle out on it. Also no one is plotting or planting cereal grains around me so no competition.
     
  5. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Winter hardy is not a concern for me. I planted rye this year because I had some new food plots that were pretty rough and thought the rye might have better germination in the less than perfect conditions. I have a new road I seeded with annual rye grass to hold the soil and have more deer feeding on it than I do the winter rye. I am going to spray it with gly early march, anyway, so I can plant eagle seed beans on this ground. Maybe they will start using it after they eat the wheat to the ground. And yes, clover is king on my ground also - but I didnt plant clover on this plot because I will be planting beans this spring. I want the beans in this area because there is a 50/50 chance it will flood some in the winter - and we like to duck hunt, too.
     
  6. Foragefarmer

    Foragefarmer Member

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    Location:
    Central, Va.
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Sounds like you have made thoughtful decisions about your plantings. I just know that by mid December the clover in my fields will be a memory and the deer will be hammering that 14 acres of rye I planted. I saw 7 the other day but by December it can be 20-30 in the evening.

    But everyone’s situation is different was sort of my point.

    My deer won’t touch a turnip.
     
  7. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Kansas It's better to wear out than to rust out.
    Wheat hands down on my place. WR always get's thrown into the mix but in every single side by side test I've ever done the wheat won.
     
  8. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

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    I have fields of rye and fields of wheat. At this time of year deer eat whatever is in the field they are near. I don't doubt there may be preferences but that is less significant than having a small grain available. They will eat whats available.

    I plant each for different purposes depending on what I am trying to accomplish with the field.
     
  9. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    So far our deer, on the lease, will eat whatever is planted. They really haven't shown a preference to anything. We planted WW, WR, WO all together and they just put their head down and ate it all.
     
  10. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
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    I have a plot or two where I mixed the Rye and Wheat in the hopper, and the deer "just put their heads down and eat", also. But in the one big plot, I planted the west end with wheat and the east end with rye - and EVERY deer that comes to that area to feed - not just pass through, but feed - goes to the wheat half and feeds there. It will be interesting to see if the deer start utilizing the rye later this year after they eat the wheat down.
     
  11. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    5
    Like most other people, I find that They prefer almost every other plot over rye, but they'll still eat it. I don't plant rye anymore but if I were to, I'd make sure to plant it as close to hunting season as possible because they'll like it a lot more when it's young. I use that strategy with oats and have great success compared to August planted oats.


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
  12. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Active Member

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    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Hardiness Zone:
    7a
    It may be that it being mixed together and in close proximity to the next plant, that they just eat it without being picky. It could be that they go through and eat the WW first, WO second and WR last. Our lease plots are hammered and my local plot doesn't get the same pressure so it is hard to tell what is being eaten first and what isn't. We did plant spring oats at the lease and the seed heads were eaten more than the green plants were.

    ETA: pictures and comments below-

    Here is one of my lease plots. It was a mix of WW, WO, WR, PTT, and clover. Only the clover is left with a little residual growth from the other plants. We have approx. 2 acres planted and they all look the same. Pictures were taken Thursday.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is my local plot, it is 2 acres. Pictures were taken today(11-13-17). I have an excellent crop of wild onions this year, btw. It looks like it has been mowed, to me, but it was from the flooding we had Monday and Tuesday of last week. This is planted in the same mix as our lease plots.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    maddog3355 likes this.
  13. maddog3355

    maddog3355 New Member

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    Location:
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    If you have neighbors that plant food plots and money is no object I would plant Buck Forage Oats.
     
  14. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    My neighbors dont plant food plots and I have planted buck forage oats before. Was very disappointed - they yellowed up way quicker than did wheat under wet conditions. I have heard they are more winter hardy - but where I live - almost every fall planting is winter hardy. Plus, I plant about 30 acres and the seed alone costs about $900 for co-op run wheat seed - compared to about $3600 for buck forage oats. Not nearly worth the money - at least for me.
     
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  15. Mahindra3016

    Mahindra3016 New Member

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    Has anyone planted Triticale? I have been wondering how deer like it compared to rye, oats or wheat.
     
  16. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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    I believe Paul Knox (LC) planted it and felt that it's consumption compared to cereal rye. The deer did eat it, so if your deer like rye, it will be just as good.
     
  17. Elkaddict

    Elkaddict Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    C5954B66-56E6-4666-9BE4-5AEDEAC438BC.jpeg I think the most important thing is variety. We’ve the most success providing a buffet. In this plot complex, there is the following: corn, beans, LC brassicas, rutabagas/Winfred/sugar beets/white clover/chicory, red clover/chicory and grains/clover. Our deer dig through snow for grains. Typically, it’s a mixture of oats and rye. This year, it was a mix of triticale and oats. Our oats have died but the triticale continues to get hammered. Most importantly, it’s the first to green up in the spring when our deer are most at risk of starvation.
     
  18. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Our food plots are green all winter here - we dont have to worry about that. In fact, they pretty well stop using them early march because the whole world is greening up down here, then. Very little brassica use, here. They utilize the heck out of wheat, oats, and clover in the fall and winter - clover in the spring and summer - if it doesnt die, beans in spring, summer, and fall.
     
  19. Jason Broom

    Jason Broom Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Central Indiana/NWLP Michigan - Zones 4a/5/5b/6a
    I have planted triticale each of the last two years. For those who don't know, it's a hybrid between wheat and rye. It grows well on marginal soils and deer eat it. I can't claim it's the "best of both", but I also have no complaints. I do believe young oats are most preferred, but after that I have not observed deer eating wheat or triticale more than winter rye. I planted mostly WR because I am Up North, where cold-hardy is important.

    I love what rye does in the spring, more than anything. Great bucks start in the womb, and northern does benefit tremendously from the early spring green up combination of WR and a white clover.
     
  20. SwampCat

    SwampCat Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
    7
    You northern guys have it tough - or us southern guys have it easy - not sure which. You have to worry about your winters and we have to worry with summer and fall droughts. Deer around my place quit using foodplots - which stay green all winter, because every pasture in the world is greening up and there is a world of green for them to eat. In my area of southern AR, I don't feel winter foodplots really help the deer much - but tend to concentrate them for hunting - and provide a variety for deer to choose - in addition to acorns and browse. Spring is a time of plenty - fresh browse and green forbs and grasses aplenty. Summer can be brutal - sometimes we don't get rain from first of July until the end of September. Beans and clover (until the clover dries up) help the does with fawns and the bucks growing antlers get through this hard time. Fall sees acorn drop and things begin to green back up as rains start falling again. Corn usually isn't a choice for most southern food plotters because of hogs.
     
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