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485. Rotation.—Ordinarily rye occupies the place in the rotation assigned to wheat . It is an excellent crop with which to seed down land to grass and clover, and in sections on the northern border of the winter wheat district, rye, on account of its greater hardiness, is sown in place of wheat for this purpose. The Rhode Island Station has obtained satisfactory results with a six-course rotation as follows: first year, winter rye; second year, timothy, redtop and medium red clover; third year, grass; fourth year, grass; fifth year, maize; and sixth year, potatoes. No stable manure was used, but liberal quantities of commercial fertilizers were applied to all crops. In undertaking to build up "worn-out" land with this rotation, it is considered desirable to begin with rye.1 It has been reported that in Europe rye frequently gives unsatisfactory results when grown after potatoes.8
486. Rye as Green Manure.—On account of its hardiness and its ability to grow upon poor soil, rye makes a good crop to grow for plowing under to increase the organic matter in the soil. Rye may be sown in the standing maize in September (128), or, after maize is shocked, may be disked in without plowing. In the spring, rye may be plowed under and land planted again to maize or sown to some other crop. Care should be taken, however, to plow the rye under early in the spring before it has made too much growth, lest it exhaust the moisture from the soil and thereby reduce the subsequent crop. It has been shown that by allowing the rye to head out and removing the crop, the subsequent maize crop may be seriously injured.8 In sowing rye in standing maize, no advantage is gained by sowing before September, since the maize plant so shades the ground as to retard the growth of the earlier sown rye. Sowing rye between two potato crops did not reduce the
1R.1 Bui. 99.
* Fuhllng's Landw. Ztg. 47 (1898), No. 18, pp. 702-706; E. S. R. X, 740.
* Ohio Agr. Rpt 1895, p. 311.
scab, and decreased the yield of potatoes.1 As a cover crop for orchards, either alone or with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), rye has given satisfactory results.
487. Cultural Methods.—The same principles apply to the preparation of the seed bed and the methods of seeding as in the case of winter wheat. Ordinarily where both wheat and rye are sown, the rye is sown first. No experiments have been reported with regard to the best quantity of seed per acre applicable to American conditions. In an experiment in Denmark, seeding in varying rates from two to three and one-fourth bushels per acre, the largest yield of both grain and straw was obtained by sowing at the rate of two and one-half bushels, or 2,280 million grains, per acre during an average of three years. The percentage of grain per straw and the size of grains were larger at the thinner seeding. From one and one-half to two bushels of rye per acre is usually sown in this country. Where grown for soiling the seeding may be heavier. In a ten years' trial with different sized seed only a slight increase in grain and straw was obtained from the larger seed; the increase being rather greater in the straw than in the grain.8
Rye is not infrequently pastured in the fall with either cattle or sheep, and sometimes again in the spring, after which the stock is removed and the rye allowed to ripen. While this reduces the yield, rye will stand this treatment better than any other cereal crop. In case rye makes too large a growth in the fall and is in danger of throwing up culms, or becoming jointed, as it is called, pasturing, especially with sheep, may even prove beneficial. This is a condition, however, which seldom arises.
488. Enemies Of Rye.—Rye may become infested with the same weeds that infest winter wheat. Chess, however, is less commonly found in rye, probably on account of the greater hardiness of the latter. (139) It has no specific insect pest, but may be attacked by those insects which feed upon all cereal crops indiscriminately, such as the chinch bug, army worm and grasshopper. The stored grain is
1 N. Y. (Geneva) Bui. 138, p. 629.
» Tidsskr. Landbr. Planteavl., I, pp. 1-30; E. S. R. VII, 203.
also attacked freely by those insects which attack wheat and maize. (156) Rye is perhaps as freely injured by black stem rust and orange leaf rust as wheat, oats and barley. (146) It is also rarely attacked by a smut (Urocystis occulta (Wallr.) Rabh.). Treatment of seed with hot water at 127° F. is recommended. The greatest enemy of rye, however, is ergot, sometimes known as spurred or horned rye (Claviaps purpurea Tul.). Ergot is readily recognized by the very much enlarged and changed appearance of the grain caused by the growth of the fruiting spores. It is from these diseased grains that the ascospore stage develops the next year. Rye containing ergot should not be sown and land which has produced the diseased rye should not be sown to rye again for two or three years. It is desirable, in case the crop has been diseased, to put the land in some cultivated crop the succeeding year in order to prevent the growth of volunteer rye, which is very likely to be diseased and thus continue the trouble. Rye containing ergot should not be fed to domestic animals nor eaten by persons because of the serious effect which may follow from such use.
Ergot on spike of rye. (After Clinton.) 489. Harvesting. — Rye usually ripens about a week in advance of winter wheat. On account of the greater length of culm, heavy crops of rye are likely to tax the capacity of self-binding harvesters. Rye may be shocked as indicated for wheat. (161) But ordinarily it is not necessary to cap rye because the spikes lie so close together as to form a sufficient protection without capping. On account of the much higherprice which can be obtained for straight rye straw as compared with tangled straw, threshing machines have been devised for keeping the straw straight during the operation, and some of the machines have a self-binding attachment by which the stray straw is bound again into bundles. Machines are made suitable for the use of individual farmers as well as the large machines intended for itinerant threshing.
490. Use.—The grain of rye is used for the production of flour, for food for domestic animals, and for the production of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. Rye flour is prepared in two forms: (1) fine rye flour, which has been thoroughly bolted according to modern processes of milling (176, 177), and (2) coarse rye flour, which corresponds to Graham flour in wheat . (174) Bread made from coarse rye flour has usually been esteemed more nutritious than that made from fine rye flour. Fine rye flour is less nutritious than bread from wheat flour. On the European continent where coarse rye bread is usually eaten it has been considered more nutritious than wheat bread. Digestion experiments, however, tend to show that fine white flour contains the greater net available energy. In America rye bread is in very small demand and mostly by those who have acquired a taste for it in European countries.
Rye, preferably ground, forms a satisfactory food for all classes of domestic animals, and may be fed as a substitute for maize whenever the price is such as to justify. Rye straw is used in the manufacture of paper, for a great variety of packing, including fruit trees, and for bedding for domestic animals. Rye straw is so highly prized for these uses that rye is largely raised in this country for the production of straw rather than for the production of grain. Were it not for the demand for the straw, the production of rye would probably rapidly decrease.
"The manufacture of straw is one of the most Important Industries of this Empire, giving thousands means of support. I believe it could be profitably introduced into Wisconsin, Minnesota, northern Michigan, the woods of Maine and hills of Vermont, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts. Straw, that once served only for fuel or fertilizing purposes, is put up by these people into the most useful, beautiful and fantastic forms. Plates, dishes, baskets, boxes, tables, trunks, fans, hats, caps, mats, etc., are made by the million and sent to all parts of the world. In a stretch of country containing six square miles, there are 10,000 persons employed in making articles of straw.
"Of the straws used, the best come from Tuscany. They are rye and wheat straws, and are known as the 'grano marzuolo,' or March grain. It is sown in March, very thick, to prevent the blades from growing too fast or strong. In June it has grown to a length of 18 or 20 inches and is ready for use. The rye and wheat is torn out by the roots, bound into small bundles, exposed to the sun but not to the rain, and is then laid aside for one or two years' seasoning. Before being worked, the bundles are spread out like fans, exposed three nights to the dew and three days to the sun; they are then turned to expose the other side two nights to the dew and three days to the sun. In this way, the straw that was green becomes a beautiful yellow or golden white. The ears and roots are now removed, and the stems are sorted into twelve to twenty sizes." 1
491. Rye as a Soiling Crop.—Rye is especially acceptable to milch cows, when fed as a soiling crop the flow of milk being well maintained, and no bad results accrue from its use. The period during which it is available is comparatively brief, however, usually not more than two weeks in the latter part of April and fore part of May, varying somewhat with latitude and season. The period of maturity in which it makes a desirable soiling crop varies from just before heading until it is in full bloom. Prior to the earlier stage the yield is not sufficient to justify its use, and after the later stage it is not sufficiently palatable to be eaten readily. The Pennsylvania Station has shown that between the extremes noted, requiring twelve days, the yield of dry matter in the plant increased approximately from 1,200 to 2,800 pounds per acre.* In a system of soiling the hiatus between rye and oats and field peas (405) may be filled in with wheat and later with common red clover. At the Alabama Station four cuttings of rye made in October, November, January and February gave a total of eleven tons of green rye per acre.*
492. By-Products.—The by-products of rye are rye bran
and distillers' grains. Rye bran has about the same feeding value as wheat bran. The distillers' grains are the by-products
1 J. C. Monaghan: Germany's Straw Industry. Consular Reports, Vol. LVIII (1898), No. 216, p. 53.
2 Penn. Rpt. 1893, p. 52. 8 Ala. Bui . 16.