Is anyone growing Rye?

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with growing and selling Rye.

  • What would be a good variety to start with?
  • is the growing season the same as with wheat?
  • what would be a good seeding rate?
  • is there a market for a few acres of rye?

Thanks for any help you can give!

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Thanks for this question, Captain! I know Nate has in the past. If you check out this section of the website you’ll see that Rachel if Mendocino Grain Project is growing some AND Grass Valley Grain (that’s Reed Hamilton from our call)! @ClaudiaCarter or @nan any other ideas?

I have grown Merced rye a number of years because I could get organic seed. I have no experience with heritage varieties. Rye can be planted later than wheat or oats as long as you can get in the field but an early start gives it some time to get established. If the winter is cold and wet, sometimes it will stay a few inches tall until spring but then it takes off. You have to be careful about too much nitrogen or it will get too tall and lodge if it gets windy.It often gets 5 feet tall anyway. I usually plant 100 lbs/acre. I found rye to be slower to dry in the spring so harvesting late June. I was on a heavy clay loam.

I know that Early Bird Farm in Nevada City is looking for rye and there is a German bakery in SF that uses a lot of rye. Maybe Leyna or Nate remembers the name. Might be good to try a few acres first to see what planting rate and timing works for you.

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Thanks Reed!

We have been growing Merced rye for years as a winter cover that gets worked into the ground in spring, so I do have a bit of experience with it. Because I only know Merced rye as a cover crop I didn’t know if it had any retail value, it’s good to hear you were able to sell some.

I don’t have any access to certified organic ground right now, but maybe I will put in a few acres and see if there is a market for conventional.

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My customers have positive things to say about Merced once milled. It certainly is vigorous and yields well here in Capay Valley. But they also swooned over Gazelle grown by John LaBoyteaux, and still like the no-name organic commodity rye I get through Central Milling. I’ve yet to find a reliable local source for Abruzzi rye, but would sure like to.

For cleaning, get in touch with Jace Knight at Dixon Seed near Chico. He’s great to work with, and will accommodate small lots when and if able. Pricing is marginally higher than other mills I’ve used, but Jace’s service and support are exceptional. Worth the drive.

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Good to know, thanks!

I was already looking at getting some Abruzzi rye seed, maybe I’ll have to grow you some. :slightly_smiling_face:

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By the way, I have 800 lbs of organic Merced rye seed for sale at a discount since I have nowhere to plant it. I will do a germination test to assure it’s viability.

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Really great to see this dialogue you’re stoking here! Right @ClaudiaCarter ?

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@leynalightman exactly! we hope this forum helps you all connect and exchange ideas or products you each other have and/or need. Thank you!

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Just a quick update to let everyone know that we have decided to plant 6 acre of Abruzzi Cereal Rye.

We purchased the seed from North Carolina and it will be delivered next week.

Our plan is to plant at 90lbs to the acre as soon as we get some rain.

Hopefully it all works out, and as always any tips/warnings/ancient ancestral blessings are welcome!

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@jon_eck Wonderful news! Please bring all this information to share with others today at our GSG intro meeting. We would love others to know what you are doing and how this tool can help them get connected with our farmers. Thank you.

@leynalightman @nan

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Fabulous news! Very excited for you all

I am interested in some of the Abruzzi rye to purchase for milling when it’s ready.

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Sounds good to me! Let’s talk again in the spring when I will have a better idea of what I will have available.

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From a baking/eating perspective, what’s the difference among the different varieties?

This is our first time growing this rye, and I am not much of a baker, so I can’t be much help unfortunately. Maybe someone else can chime in?

Here at two places where you might find some answers.

The Rye Baker

Citizen Times

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FWIW, Central Milling says the rye they sell is usually a combo of Prima and Hazlet.

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Hey all!

Loved reading through all this great information. I’m also looking to plant Abruzzi Rye on 8 acres up in Siskiyou County. Was wondering if anyone knows of seed available somewhere in California? If not i’ll look into where Jon purchased.

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Hey!
Try @capaymills and/or Mendocino Grain Project (I can connect you there).

Actually also Reed Hamilton maybe? Grass Valley Grains? Don’t forget to look at the GSG site!

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