“High yields of new hybrid fall rye was the main reason we conducted a recent trial using it as feed for pigs,” says Miranda Smit, livestock research extension coordinator with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
Hybrid fall rye was launched 5 years ago in Canada. Herman Wehrle, director of marketing and business development with FP Genetics, says that its higher yield is a game changer.
“Its yields are 25 to 30% more than any other cereal that is grown in western Canada at this time. For livestock producers growing their own feed, having a high yield allows them to produce the lowest cost of feed per acre, and for farmers that is going to be a game changer.”
Wehrle adds with the new hybrid rye technology, quality has improved. “Because all the plants are from the same parents, giving them a more consistent growth, it results in a more consistent grain, and at the end of the day, a much more consistent product.”
Smit says that another reason this hybrid rye was used in the trial was due to its increased resistance to ergot contamination.
“These new hybrids have a new trait called a pollen plus trait and this has been critical in helping improve ergot management which has been key in rye production in general,” adds Wehrle.
Wehrle says that there are some other benefits with this rye. “It is a winter cereal, so it helps producers spread out their workload, allowing them to do some seeding in the fall which takes some pressure off seeding in the spring. More importantly, it allows them to harvest much earlier than they would be harvesting other crops.”
Being grown as feed for forages and grazing, it gives an opportunity for double cropping. “As an example if a farmer was growing a hybrid rye and took a forage off in late June, they could turn around and reseed it to a forage barley or oat and get a second crop off in one year.”
Wehrle notes that he sees it as a very high value product in hogs, something that Smit took away from her research trial. “Our results from the trial show that hybrid rye could completely substitute wheat grain in grower-finisher diets.”
To learn more about the trial, contact Miranda Smit: