Understanding Quality Standards for Cereal Rye to Help Farmers Access Value-Added Markets for Malting, Distilling, and Baking

Final report for ONE18-312

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2018: $14,971.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Heather Darby
University of Vermont Extension
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Project Information

Summary:

Rye (Secale cereale L.) has been grown in the Northeast for decades, predominately as a cover crop or livestock forage. Recently, there has been an increasing demand for rye within the food- grade market but limited information on rye quality that is appropriate for each end-use. The goal of this project was to begin the development of variety and agronomic practice recommendations to help farmers meet rye market demands. Research trials were conducted to evaluate rye variety yield and quality to see what varieties might be more suitable for production the region from a yield and quality perspective. In addition, trials to evaluate harvest date and nitrogen timing were conducted to determine the impact on rye quality. Variety trial results indicated that a number of varieties could produce adequate yields and quality in the region. The varieties that had the highest yields  (over 3000 lbs per acre) across the project period were Bono, Dalero, and Brasetto. Quality was impacted by weather conditions and working with bakers it was determined that both variety and falling number were important parameters for baking rye bread. Baking loaves of rye bread could be done quite successfully when rye had lower falling numbers (below 250 seconds); however it was unclear if it was advantageous to have lower falling numbers. Essentially the quality of the loaf seemed to be more impacted by the variety selected with some impact of falling number. Distilling quality was driven more by protein and less by other parameters. Hence varieties with consistently high protein levels led to more distilling output. With malting, lower falling numbers (below 250 seconds) were still detrimental to output. The management of falling number by shifting harvest date was evaluated in the study. Clearly delaying harvest can reduce falling number but was also dependent upon the variety. For instance, Hazlet had greater declines in falling number across a 4-week period (over 50%) whereas Danko had a 40% decline. It was also important to note that some varieties, like Hazlet, had lower falling number even at the earliest harvest date compared to Danko.   Hence some varieties were able to maintain the falling number over a longer harvest window. Preliminary evidence, indicated that grain protein concentrations could be increased by 10% through spring nitrogen management. However further research needs to be conducted to verify the results across environments. This project helped to lay the ground work for future research that will continue to identify rye quality characteristics that are suited for various end-use markets.

Project Objectives:

Local bakers, maltsters, and distillers are eager to source locally grown rye for their products however, limited information is available on the necessary quality requirements. Farmers are interested in producing rye but have found it challenging to source varieties ideal for the end-users needs. It is also unclear how harvesting and fertility management impact rye quality and subsequent end-use quality. We have a good understanding of how variety selection and management influence wheat and barley quality but this same information does not exist for cereal rye.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. To evaluate yield and quality characteristics of cereal rye and determine most appropriate uses for each variety.
  1. Determine the impact of nitrogen application timing on protein concentration and quality in cereal rye and subsequent impacts on end-use possibilities.
  1. Determine the impact of harvest timing on pre-harvest sprouting and overall quality in cereal rye.
  1. Identify cereal rye quality parameters necessary for specific end-uses, i.e. malt, distilling, and baking.

These objectives will be met through on-farm research and collaboration with end-use partners to develop best practices for cereal rye production. Ultimately helping farmers improve their ability to meet the requirements of a value-added market.

Introduction:

Surprisingly there is limited research available on best agronomic practices for food-grade rye production in the Northeast, or anywhere for that matter. Considering rye is second only to wheat among grains commonly used for bread production (Bushuk 2001). Based on our SARE database search we found no listings that were related to our proposed project topic. There were forty-five rye-based projects identified but all were focused on rye as a cover crop or for livestock grazing. Rye is the most winter hardy of winter grains and it is able to thrive in a wide variety of soil types, drainage situations, fertility levels, and climatic conditions. In other words, rye is an ideal crop for the Northeast.

Currently the majority of rye grown in Vermont is as a cover crop. The going rate for rye cover crop seed in Vermont is $0.16 per pound, whereas the price per pound of rye for baking ranged from $0.30 – $0.75 (organic), malting $0.20, and distilling $0.50 (personal communications). Selling rye for malt would result in an $80.00 per ton increase, and up to a $1,180 increase per ton for baking! Identifying rye varieties that meet end-users needs and best practices to produce high yielding and quality crop will ultimately help farmers succeed.

Rye in a cross-pollinated crop, meaning it is difficult to keep genetically “pure” varieties, which is why there are fewer rye varieties on the market compared to wheat (Bushuk 2001). However, the introduction of rye hybrids in the 1970’s has made it easier to keep “pure” lines. Today, 75% of all the rye grown worldwide is from hybrids (Brümmer, 2006).  In recent years, more rye varieties have been released on to the market as the demand for more nutritious and hearty bread types has increased. Vermont is no exception. There is high consumer demand for locally sourced rye for baking, malt, and distilling, right now the demand far exceeds the supply. Vermont does not have much of a history of growing rye for human consumption. There is limited information available on the quality levels necessary for specific end uses and what is available is primarily based on European research. Quality parameters for rye are not necessarily the same as for wheat. For example, the falling number for rye has to be at least 120 seconds compared to 250 seconds for wheat (Brümmer, 2006). These differences in quality parameters may be the same or different depending on end-use, it is unclear.

It has been shown that different rye varieties differ in malting and brewing performance and flavor (Wang, 2016). Identifying varieties best suited for baking, malt, and distilling is critical for rye production expand in the Northeast. In addition, other agronomic practices like timely harvest and the impact of nitrogen on protein level is necessary to begin to build relevant information for this crop.  Furthermore, quality tests and end-user testing is essential for increasing rye for human consumption in Vermont and throughout the country.

Therefore, through this project we will conduct large-scale variety trials with our partner farms to determine what varieties thrive for both yield and quality. Samples will have basic quality analyses run on them at the UVM Cereal Grain Testing Laboratory. We will then have our collaborating bakers, maltsters, and distillers perform end-use tests to determine which varieties are best suited for which end-use.

 

 

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Roger Rainville - Producer (Researcher)
  • Scott Magnan - Producer (Researcher)

Research

Materials and methods:

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2017/2018

In 2017, the experimental design of the study was a randomized complete block with treatment plots replicated four times. Treatments were ten varieties of cereal rye: Aroostook, Brasetto, Danko, Guardian, Huron, Musketeer, ND Dylan, Spooner, Wheeler, and one unstated variety (VNS). The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting. The plots were planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 21-Sep 2017; plots were 5’ x 20’. Prior to harvest, on 20-Jul 2018, three plant heights per plot were measured. Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 20-Jul. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2018/2019

The experimental design of the study was a randomized complete block with treatment plots replicated four times. Treatments were fifteen varieties of cereal rye: Wren’s Abruzzi, Helltop, Bono, Merced, Dolero, Hazlet, Danko, Brassetto, ND Dylan, Huron, Musketeer, Aroostook, Guardian, Wheeler, and Spooner (Table 2). The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting. The plots were planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 22-Sep 2018; plots were 5’ x 20’ (Table 1). In the spring, winter survival was assessed for the cereal rye varieties on 6-May. Each plot was scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating 0-20% survival and 5 indicating 81-100% survival.  Prior to harvest, on 30-Jul 2018, three plant heights per plot were measured.

 

Table 1: Agronomic and trial information for the rye variety trial, 2017-2018.

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Corn

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (live seeds m-2)

350

Replicates

4

Planting Date

22-Sep 2018

Harvest Date

30-Jul 2019

Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 20-Jul. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Table 2. Winter rye varietal information, Alburgh, VT, 2019.

Variety

Source

Wrens Abruzzi

Hancock Seed Company

Helltop

Nordic Seed

Bono

Albert Lea Seed

Merced

Hearne Seed

Dolero

Albert Lea Seed

Hazlet

SeCan

Danko

Knight Seed

Brassetto

Seedway LLC

ND Dylan

Seedway LLC

Huron

Kings AgriSeed

Musketeer

Saved Seed; Alburgh, VT

Aroostock

Albert Lea Seed

Guardian

LaCrosse Seed

Wheeler

Moore Seed Farm

Spooner

Albert Lea Seed

Variations in yield and quality can occur because of variations in genetics, soil, weather, and other growing conditions.  Statistical analysis makes it possible to determine whether a difference among treatments is real or whether it might have occurred due to other variations in the field. Yield data and stand characteristics were analyzed using the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications within trials were treated as random effects, and application treatments were treated as fixed. Treatment mean pairwise comparisons were made using the Tukey-Kramer adjustment. Treatments were considered different at the 0.10 level of significance. At the bottom of each table, a level of significance is presented for each variable (i.e. yield). Treatments that differed at a level of significance >0.10 were reported as being not significantly different. Treatments that were not significantly lower in performance than the top performer in a particular column are indicated with an asterisk. 

Winter Rye Harvest Date Trial – 2018/2019

In 2018, the experimental design of the study was a randomized complete block with treatment plots replicated four times. The variety Danko and Hazlet was planted at 100 lbs per acre on 6-Oct. The plots that were 5′ x 20′ were planted with a Great Plains cone seeder. The goal will be to determine the impact of rye harvest date on bread baking quality. Trial information is in Table 3. 

Table 3: Agronomic and trial information for the rye harvest date trial, 2017-2018.

 

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Winter Wheat

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (live seeds m-2)

350

Replicates

4

Planting Date

6-Oct 2018

Harvest Dates

HD 1: 30-Jul 2019

HD 2: 5-Aug 2019

HD 3: 14-Aug 2019

HD 4: 19-Aug 2019

 Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 30-Jul, 5-Aug, 14-Aug, and 19-Aug. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption. The final results have not been analyzed or compiled at the time of this report. The grain samples will be delivered to the bakers.

Winter Rye Nitrogen Rate Trial – 2018/2019

The experimental design of the study was a randomized complete block with treatment plots replicated four times (Table 4). Treatments were four nitrogen application timings: 90lbs N ac-1 applied in the fall, 90 lb N ac-1 applied in the spring, 45/45 lb N ac-1 split application applied in fall and spring, and a control receiving no N application (Table 5). Nitrogen was applied in the form of calcium ammonium nitrate (21-0-0). The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting. The plots were 5’ x 20’ and the rye variety, Hazlet was planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 6-Oct 2018 at a rate of 100 lbs ac-1.

 Table 4: Agronomic and trial information for the rye nitrogen trial, 2018-2019.

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Corn

Rye variety

Hazlet

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (lbs ac-1)

100

Replicates

4

Fertilizer

Calcium ammonium nitrate (21-0-0)

Planting Date

6-Oct 2018

Harvest Date

5-Aug 2019

 

Table 5. 2018-2019 Winter rye nitrogen application dates.

Treatment

Application date

90 lb N ac-1 Fall

4-Oct

90 lb N ac-1 Spring

29-Apr

45/45 lb N ac-1 Fall/Spring

4-Oct/29-Apr

Control

N/A

Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 5-Aug. Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) is a fungal disease found most commonly in rye, and it can lead to yield reductions and health problems in humans and animals. To assess the amount of ergot present, two 1 ft2 samples were collected per plot just prior to harvest, and the ergot incidence (percent of affected heads) was recorded. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Variations in yield and quality can occur because of variations in genetics, soil, weather, and other growing conditions.  Statistical analysis makes it possible to determine whether a difference among treatments is real or whether it might have occurred due to other variations in the field. Yield data and stand characteristics were analyzed using the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications within trials were treated as random effects, and application treatments were treated as fixed. Treatment mean pairwise comparisons were made using the Tukey-Kramer adjustment. Treatments were considered different at the 0.10 level of significance. At the bottom of each table, a level of significance is presented for each variable (i.e. yield). Treatments that differed at a level of significance >0.10 were reported as being not significantly different. Treatments that were not significantly lower in performance than the top performer in a particular column are indicated with an asterisk. 

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2019/2020

The experimental design was a randomized complete block with twelve varieties replicated four times.  Treatments were thirteen varieties of cereal rye including Aroostock, Bono, Brasetto, Danko, Dolero, Hazlet, ND Dylan, Progas, Rymin, Sangasti, Serafino, and Wheeler (Table 6).

The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting. The plots were planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 20-Sep 2019. Plots were 5’ x 20’ (Table 7). On 15-Apr, winter survival was visually assessed.  Each plot was scored on a percent scale of 0-100%, with 0 indicating no plants survived and 100 indicating 100% survival.  Prior to harvest, on 22-Jul 2020, three plant heights per plot were measured for each plot.

Table 6: Agronomic and trial information for the rye variety trial, 2019-2020.

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Spring grains

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (live seeds m-2)

350

Replicates

4

Planting Date

20-Sep 2019

Harvest Date

22-Jul 2020

Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 22-Jul. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one-pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number indirectly measures enzymatic activity in the grain which is typically used as an indicator of pre-harvest sprouting. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a cooked slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Table 7. Winter rye varietal information, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

Variety

Source

Aroostock

Albert Lea Seed

Bono

Albert Lea Seed

Brassetto

Seedway LLC

Danko

Knight Seed

Dolero

Albert Lea Seed

Hazlet

SeCan

ND Dylan

Seedway LLC

Progass

Albert Lea Seed

Rymin

University of Minnesota

Sangasti

Ruth Fleischmann

Serafino

Ruth Fleischmann

Wheeler

Moore Seed Farm

Stand characteristics were analyzed using mixed model analysis using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications within the trial were treated as random effects, and treatments were treated as fixed. Treatment mean comparisons were made using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) procedure when the F-test was considered significant (p<0.10). 

Winter Rye Harvest Date Trial – 2019/2020

The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting.  The experimental design was a randomized complete block with split plots and 4 replicates. The main plots were harvest date and the split plots variety (Danko and Hazlet). The plots were planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 20-Sept 2019; plots were 5’ x 20’ (Table 8). Prior to first harvest date, on 23-Jul 2020 and each subsequent harvest date, three plant heights per plot were measured.

Table 8: Agronomic and trial information for the rye harvest date trial, 2017-2018.

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Spring grains

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (live seeds m-2)

350

Replicates

4

Planting Date

20-Sept 2019

Harvest Dates

HD 1: 23-Jul 2020

HD 2: 29-Jul 2020

HD 3: 7-Aug 2020

HD 4: 12-Aug 2020

Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 23-Jul, 29-Jul, 7-Aug, and 12-Aug. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Winter Rye Nitrogen Trial – 2019/2020

The experimental design of the study was a randomized complete block with treatment plots replicated five times (Table 9). Treatments were four nitrogen application timings: 90 lbs N ac-1 applied in the fall, 90 lbs N ac-1 applied in the spring, 45/45 lbs N ac-1 split application applied in fall and spring, and a control receiving no N application (Table 10). Nitrogen was applied in the form of calcium ammonium nitrate (21-0-0). The field was plowed, disked, and prepared with a spike tooth harrow to prepare the seedbed for planting. The plots were 5’ x 20’ and the rye variety, Hazlet was planted with a Great Plains cone seeder on 20-Sept 2019 at a rate of 100 lbs ac-1.

 Table 9: Agronomic and trial information for the rye nitrogen trial, 2019-2020.

 

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

Soil Type

Benson rocky silt loam

Previous Crop

Sweet corn

Rye variety

Hazlet

Tillage Operations

Fall plow, disc, and spike tooth harrow

Harvest Area (ft.)

5 x 20

Seeding Rate (lbs ac-1)

100

Replicates

4

Fertilizer

Calcium ammonium nitrate (21-0-0)

Planting Date

20-Sept 2019

Harvest Date

23-Jul 2020

 

Table 10. 2018-2019 Winter rye nitrogen application dates.

Treatment

Application date

90 lbs N ac-1 Fall

11-Oct

90 lbs N ac-1 Spring

8-Apr

45/45 lbs N ac-1 Fall/Spring

11-Oct/8-Apr

Control

N/A

Grain plots were harvested at the Alburgh site with an Almaco SPC50 plot combine on 23-Jul. Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) is a fungal disease found most commonly in rye, and it can lead to yield reductions and health problems in humans and animals. To assess the amount of ergot present, two 1 ft2 samples were collected per plot just prior to harvest, and the ergot incidence (percent of affected heads) was recorded. Following harvest, seed was cleaned with a small Clipper M2B cleaner (A.T. Ferrell, Bluffton, IN). Grain moisture, test weight, and yield were calculated. An approximate one pound subsample was collected to determine quality. Quality measurements included standard testing parameters used by commercial mills. Test weight was measured by the weighing of a known volume of grain. Once test weight was determined, the samples were then ground into flour using the Perten LM3100 Laboratory Mill. At this time, flour was evaluated for its protein content, falling number, and mycotoxin levels. Grains were analyzed for protein content using the Perten Inframatic 8600 Flour Analyzer. The determination of falling number (AACC Method 56-81B, AACC Intl., 2000) was measured on the Perten FN 1500 Falling Number Machine. The falling number is related to the level of sprout damage that has occurred in the grain. It is measured by the time it takes, in seconds, for a stirrer to fall through a slurry of flour and water to the bottom of the tube. Deoxynivalenol (DON) analysis was done using Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test from the NEOGEN Corp. This test has a detection range of 0.5 to 5 ppm. Samples with DON values greater than 1 ppm are considered unsuitable for human consumption.

Research results and discussion:

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2017/2018

Heights, lodging, yield and test weight was measured prior to cereal rye harvest (Table 11). Wheeler was the tallest variety, whereas Brasetto was the shortest.  Wheeler did not experience any lodging, yet Brasetto, Danko, Guardian, Huron, and VNS were not statistically different from Wheeler. It is also worth noting that lodging was very low across the board, with Musketeer and ND Dylan showing only 4% lodging for the growing season.  The average lodging for the trial was 1.63%. Yields are presented at harvest moisture.  Yields at harvest ranged between 2511 and 4210 lbs ac-1 with Brasetto, Guardian, ND Dylan, and VNS as the top performing varieties.  The ideal test weight for rye is 56 lbs bu-1; top performing varieties reaching this mark in descending order were Danko, Musketeer, VNS, Spooner, Guardian, and Aroostook. 

The ten cereal varieties were analyzed for crude protein content, falling number, and the vomitoxin DON (Table 12).  Wheeler had the highest crude protein at 13.96%, and was significantly higher than the other varieties in the trial.  Falling number ranged between 216 and 272; an ideal falling number falls around 260 seconds.  The top performing variety was Brasetto at 272 seconds, but was not statistically significant fom Danko,Guardian, ND Dylan, Spooner, Wheeler, and Bono, who were also top performers.   Danko had very low DON levels, and was not significantly different from Aroostook, Huron, Spooner, and Wheeler.

 

Table 11: Harvest measurements of winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT 2018.

Variety

Height

Lodging

Yield

Test weight

cm

%

lbs ac-1

lbs bu-1

Aroostook

141

3.50

2925

56.0*

Brasetto

114

0.50*

4210

49.8

Danko

132

0.50*

2837

57.2

Guardian

143

0.25*

4061*

56.1*

Huron

143

1.50*

3239

51.0

Musketeer

145

4.00

3320

56.7*

ND Dylan

138

4.00

3627*

54.5*

Spooner

152

1.75

2980

56.3*

Wheeler

167

0.00

2511

53.3*

VNS

115

0.25*

4015*

56.4*

Trial mean

139

1.625

3373

54.7

LSD (0.10)

10.4

1.64

883.24

4.34

*Treatments with an asterisk are not significantly different than the top performer in bold.

LSD – Least significant difference.

 

 

Table 12: Grain quality for ten cereal rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2018.

 

 

Variety

Crude protein

Falling number

DON

 

 

@ 12% moisture

 

%

Seconds

ppm

 

 

Aroostook

11.7

227

0.200*

 

 

Brasetto

10.4

272

0.350

 

 

Danko

10.8

266*

0.025

 

 

Guardian

10.2

249*

0.450

 

 

Huron

10.7

216

0.125*

 

 

Musketeer

11.1

216

0.350

 

 

ND Dylan

11.1

254*

0.350

 

 

Spooner

10.8

245*

0.225*

 

 

Wheeler

13.9

260*

0.250*

 

 

VNS

9.75

268*

0.300

 

 

Trial mean

11.1

247

0.263

 

 

LSD (0.10)

0.716

30.8 

0.242 

 

 

*Treatments with an asterisk are not significantly different than the top performer in bold.

 

LSD – Least significant difference.

   

 

 

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2018/2019

Weather data was recorded with a Davis Instrument Vantage Pro2 weather station, equipped with a WeatherLink data logger at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT (Table 13). During the time of this trial, temperatures were below average for every month except July. During the 2018-2019 season, most months saw below average precipitation with the exception of November (’18), December (’18), April (‘19) and May (’19) which saw above average precipitation. There were 5199 growing degree days (GDDs) across the whole season, 20 growing degree days more than the historical average. While winter survival was not measured in this trial, there were some treatment plots in which the rye did not over-winter and were not harvested as a result.

Table 13. Temperature and precipitation summary for Alburgh, VT, 2018 and 2019.

Alburgh, VT

2018

2019

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Average temperature (°F)

45.8

32.2

25.4

15.0

18.9

28.3

42.7

53.3

64.3

73.5

68.3

Departure from normal

-2.36

-5.99

-0.55

-3.77

-2.58

-2.79

-2.11

-3.11

-1.46

2.87

-0.51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precipitation (inches)

3.53

4.50

2.96

1.53

1.70

1.36

3.65

4.90

3.06

2.34

3.50

Departure from normal

-0.07

1.38

0.59

-0.52

-0.06

-0.85

0.83

1.45

-0.63

-1.81

-0.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Degree Days (32-95°F)

435

136

72

23

38

108

346

660

970

1286

1125

Departure from normal

-67

-50

72

23

38

108

-38

-96

-44

88

-14

Based on weather data from a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 with WeatherLink data logger. Historical averages are for 30 years of NOAA data (1981-2010) from Burlington, VT. (http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/page_nowdata.html).

There was significant differences between some of the varieties in terms of survival (Table 14). Musketeer had the highest survival, but was statistically similar, in descending order, to Huron, Guardian, Danko, Spooner, Brasetto, ND Dylan, Dolero, Bono, and Wheeler. Wrens Aburzzi and Merced had the lowest winter survival and as a result, no yield or quality data was collected for either variety.

Table 14. Spring survival for winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2019.

Variety

Survival

(1-5)

Aroostook

1.25

Bono

2.75*

Brasetto

3.25*

Danko

3.25*

Dolero

3.00*

Guardian

3.25*

Hazlet

1.50

Helltop

2.50

Huron

3.50*

Merced

1.00

Musketeer

4.25

ND Dylan

3.00*

Spooner

3.25*

Wheeler

2.75*

Wrens Abruzzi

1.00

LSD (0.01)

1.64

Trial mean

2.63

*Treatments with an asterisk are not significantly different than the top performer.

Heights, lodging, yield, test weight, and amount of ergot present was measured prior to cereal rye harvest (Table 15). There were significant differences in lodging, yield, and test weight. Huron was the tallest variety, whereas Dolero was the shortest. Varieties Bono, Brasetto, and Hazlet did not experience any lodging. It is also worth noting that lodging was very low across the board, with ND Dylan showing only 3% lodging for the growing season.  The average lodging for the trial was 1.18%. Yields are presented at 13.5% moisture.  Yields ranged between 480 and 3674 lbs ac-1 with Brasetto and Dolero as the top performing varieties. Brassetto had no ergot present, but ten other varieties were statistically similar. Helltop and Wheeler had highest amount of ergot with 20.9% and 11.4% respectively. The ideal test weight for rye is 56 lbs bu-1; none of the varieties met or exceeded this ideal test weight. Guardian had the highest test weight (54.7 lbs bu-1), but there was no statistical difference between varieties.

 Table 15: Pre-harvest measurements of winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT 2019.

Variety

Height

Lodging

Yield @ 13.5% moisture

Ergot

Test weight

cm

%

lbs ac-1

%

lbs bu-1

Aroostook

128

2.00

480

7.0*

51.2

Bono

114

0.00

2949

4.4*

52.3

Brasetto

114

0.00

3674

0.0

53.4

Danko

135

1.00

2011

2.3*

54.2

Dolero

98

0.50

3639*

3.3*

52.4

Guardian

106

0.33

2570

2.5*

54.7

Hazlet

103

0.00

1605

3.9*

48.4

Helltop

108

0.25

1328

20.9

52.1

Huron

144

2.00

1752

0.7*

52.3

Musketeer

128

2.25

2263

0.3*

53.6

ND Dylan

129

3.00

1412

0.9*

51.3

Spooner

131

1.50

1866

0.4*

52.5

Wheeler

143

1.50

1687

11.4

48.5

p-value

 

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

NS

Trial mean

 123

1.18

2093

4.5

52.3

*Treatments with an asterisk are not significantly different than the top performer.

NS – No significant difference between treatments.

 

The 13 winter rye varieties were analyzed for crude protein concentration, falling number, and the vomitoxin DON (Table 16). There were significant differences in crude protein and in falling number between varieties. Overall DON levels were low this year and all varieties had DON levels below the 0.5ppm threshold of the Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test. Wheeler had the highest crude protein at 15.1%, and was significantly higher than the other varieties in the trial.  Falling number ranged between 161 and 299; an ideal falling number falls around 260 seconds.  The top performing variety was Dolero at 299 seconds.

Table 16: Grain quality for winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2019.

 

Variety

Crude protein

Falling number

 

 

@ 12% moisture

 

 

%

Seconds

 

 

Aroostook

12.7

277

 

 

Bono

8.9

269

 

 

Brasetto

8.2

247

 

 

Danko

10.5

235

 

 

Dolero

8.2

299

 

 

Guardian

9.8

271

 

 

Hazlet

10.2

217

 

 

Helltop

10.6

254

 

 

Huron

9.5

243

 

 

Musketeer

9.7

209

 

 

ND Dylan

8.9

267

 

 

Spooner

9.8

195

 

 

Wheeler

15.1

161

 

 

p-value

<.0001

<.0001

 

 

Trial mean

10.0

239

 

 

*Treatments with an asterisk are not significantly different than the top performer in bold.

Winter Rye Nitrogen Rate Trial – 2018/2019

Ergot incidence ranged from 6.7% in the split 45 lbs N ac-1 fall and 45 lbs N ac-1 spring application to 10.0% in the control, however there was no statistically significant difference between treatments (Table 17). Highest yields occurred in the split 45 lbs N ac-1 fall and 45 lbs N ac-1 spring application with similarly high yields from the 90 lbs N ac-1 fall application. However, there was no statistically significant difference between treatments. Test weights were highest for the control plots and the 90 lbs N ac-1 spring application, but once again there was no significant difference between treatments within the trial.

 

Table 17: Harvest measurements by treatment, Alburgh, VT, 2019.

Treatment

Ergot incidence

Yield

Test weight

% affected heads

lbs ac-1

lbs bu-1

45/45 lbs N ac-1 Fall/Spring

6.7

2760

47.4

90 lbs N ac-1 Fall

7.1

2641

48.8

90 lbs N ac-1 Spring

7.2

2157

49.3

Control

10.0

2111

52.1

p-value

NS

NS

NS

Trial mean

7.6

2411

49.3

NS – No significant difference between treatments.

The four treatments were analyzed for crude protein concentration at 12% moisture and falling number (Table 18). There were no significant differences between treatments for either crude protein or falling number. Crude protein ranged from 10.6% to 11.1%. The 90 lbs N ac-1 fall application had the highest crude protein concentration, but lowest falling number. Falling number ranged between 185 and 202; an ideal falling number falls around 260 seconds for wheat flour however, lower falling numbers around 150 seconds have been acceptable to bakers while using rye flour. The 90 lbs N ac-1 spring application had the highest falling number of 202 seconds. Overall, DON levels were low this year and all treatments had levels of DON less than the 0.5 ppm detection threshold for the Veratox DON 5/5 Quantitative test.

 

Table 18: Grain quality by treatment, Alburgh, VT, 2019.

 

 

Variety

Crude protein

Falling number

 

 

@ 12% moisture

 

 

%

Seconds

 

 

45/45 lbs N ac-1 Fall/Spring

11.0

186

 

 

90 lbs N ac-1 Fall

11.1

185

 

 

90 lbs N ac-1 Spring

10.8

202

 

 

Control

10.6

195

 

 

p-value

NSϯ

NS

 

 

Trial mean

10.9

192

 

ϯNS: Not significant

Winter Rye Trials – 2019/2020

Seasonal precipitation and temperature recorded at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT are displayed in Table 19.  The winter temperatures were warmer than average, leading to strong winter survival.  A cooler than average spring but warmer and drier summer led to 3,433 Growing Degree Days (GDDs) accumulated April to July, which was 55 GDDs above the 30-year average.  Precipitation from April to July was 3.81 inches below normal.  Overall, precipitation across the entire growing season from September to July, was 1.61 inches below average, with a total of 5317 GDDs from September through July, which was 30 less than average.

 Table 19. Temperature and precipitation summary for Alburgh, VT, 2019 and 2020.

 

2019

2020

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Average temperature (°F)

60.0

50.4

31.2

26.0

23.5

21.8

35.0

41.6

56.1

66.9

74.8

Departure from normal

-0.51

2.32

-6.76

0.46

4.62

0.41

3.94

-3.19

-0.44

1.08

4.17

 

                     

Precipitation (inches)

3.87

6.32

2.38

1.29

2.63

1.19

2.79

2.09

2.35

1.86

3.94

Departure from normal

0.21

2.76

-0.74

-1.06

0.63

-0.53

0.57

-0.72

-1.04

-1.77

-0.28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Degree Days (32°-95°F)

840

571

128

67

37

48

193

315

746

1046

1326

Departure from normal

-15

58

-122

-13

-12

-8

27

-99

-13

35

132

Based on weather data from a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 with WeatherLink data logger. Historical averages are for 30 years of NOAA data (1981-2010) from Burlington, VT. (http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/page_nowdata.html).

Winter Rye Variety Trial – 2019/2020

Winter survival was measured in the spring of 2020 and is presented as a percentage, 1% showing severe winter kill within plots and 100% showing little to no winter kill within plots. There were significant differences between some of the varieties in terms of survival (Table 20). Aroostock, Sangasti and Dolero had the highest winter survival, 100%, but was statistically similar to every other variety except Brasetto.  Brasetto had the lowest winter survival, a statistically significant difference from the other varieties, with 93.75% survival. Across the board, there were much higher rates of winter survival in the 2020 growing season for the Rye Variety Trial than there were in the 2019 growing year. 

Table 20. Winter survival for winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

Variety

Winter survival

0-100% ratingϯ

Aroostook

100 aᵵ

Bono

97.5 ab

Brasetto

93.8 b

Danko

98.8 a

Dolero

100 a

Hazlet

199 a

ND Dylan

96.3 ab

Progass

97.5 ab

Rymin

98.8 a

Sangasti

100. a

Serafino

98.8 a

Wheeler

96.3ab

Trial mean

98.0

LSD (p=0.10)

4.48

†Winter survival rated on a 0 to 100% scale where 0 = 0% survival and 100 = 100% survival.

ᵵWithin a column, values labelled with the same letter have no significant difference between treatments (p=0.10).

 

Heading date, heights, yield and test weight measurements were taken prior to rye harvest (Table 21). There were significant differences in each measurement. Wheeler and Sangasti were the tallest varieties at 169 and 170 cm, respectively, and were also among the latest to head out, and among the lowest yield and test weight.  The average height across the variety trial was 135 cm. There was very little lodging in the variety trial this year so measurements were not recorded.  Yields are adjusted for a 13.5% moisture basis.  Yields ranged between 2410 and 6524 lbs ac-1 with Dolero and Bono as the top performing varieties. The ideal test weight for rye is 56 lbs bu-1; only Hazlet reached this test weight, at 56.3, with every other variety ranging from 50.1 to 55.6.  The ideal moisture content for grain storage is below 13.5%.  Moisture measurements were recorded at harvest with every variety except for Wheeler and Serafino measuring below 13.5% moisture.  Harvesting grain with high moisture requires additional drying prior to storage, adding time and labor costs. 

 

Table 21: Harvest and pre-harvest measurements of winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

Variety

Heading

Height

Yield @ 13.5% moisture

Harvest moisture

Test

weight

date

cm

lbs ac-1

%

lbs bu-1

Aroostook

20-May eϯ

154 b

3214 c

13.2 bc

53.2 c-e

Bono

26-May c

108 f

6414 a

13.0 c

55.3 ab

Brasetto

26-May bc

112 fe

5477 b

13.2 bc

54.4 b-d

Danko

23-May d

128 cd

4885 b

13.2 bc

55.1 ab

Dolero

26-May b

105 f

6525 a

13.5 a-c

54.8 bc

Hazlet

26-May c

135 c

5053 b

12.9 cd

56.3 a

ND Dylan

26-May c

151 b

3823 c

13.1 c

54.6 bc

Progass

26-May bc

127 cd

4982 b

12.4 d

53.1 e

Rymin

26-May c

138 c

5096 b

13.2 bc

55.6 ab

Sangasti

27-May a

171 a

3531 c

13.5 a-c

50.1 f

Serafino

26-May c

122 de

5274 b

13.9 a

54.8 bc

Wheeler

26-May b

170 a

2411 d

13.7 ab

53.2 ed

Trial mean

 

135

4724

13.2

54.3

LSD (p=0.10)

 

11

711

0.6

1.3

ϯWithin a column, values labelled with the same letter have no significant difference between treatments (p=0.10).

ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

The 13 winter rye varieties were analyzed for crude protein, falling number, and the vomitoxin DON (Table 22). There were significant differences in crude protein and in falling number between varieties. Overall, DON levels were low this year and all varieties had DON levels below the 1.0 ppm threshold required for human consumption (data not shown). Wheeler had the highest crude protein at 12.8% and was significantly higher than all other varieties in the trial.  Falling number ranged between 206 (Wheeler) and 368 (Serafino).  The ideal falling number range for wheat is 250-350, however lower falling numbers around 150 seconds have been acceptable, or even preferable, to bakers using rye flours. See the 2020 Rye Harvest Date Trial Report for more details about falling number in rye.

Table 22: Crude protein and falling number of winter rye varieties, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

 

Variety

Crude protein

Falling

number

 

@ 12% moisture

 

%

seconds

 

Aroostook

11.0

291 ed

 

Bono

7.8 h

333 a-c

 

Brasetto

8.4 fg

337 ab

 

Danko

9.0 d-f

284 d-f

 

Dolero

8.2 hg

296 cd

 

Hazlet

8.6 e-g

251 f

 

ND Dylan

9.2 ed

274 d-f

 

Progassᵵ

 

Rymin

8.5 fg

252 ef

 

Sangasti

10.2 c

245 fg

 

Serafino

8.1 gh

368 a

 

Wheeler

12.8 a

206 g

 

Trial mean

9.3

287

 

LSD (p=0.10)

0.6

40

       

ϯWithin a column, values labelled with the same letter have no significant difference between treatments (p=0.10).

ᵵProgass is a rye variety best suited for forage so grain quality not analyzed.

Winter Rye Harvest Date Trial – 2019/2020

Impact of Harvest Date

Yield, harvest moisture, and test weight were measured at the time of harvest (Table 23). From the four different harvest dates (HD), yields were highest at HD1 on 23-Jul at 4648 lbs ac-1.  Yields from the first two harvest dates were significantly different from the second two harvest dates. Harvest moisture varied across the month long period with highest harvest moisture occurring during the last period on 12-Aug. The lowest harvest moisture was observed on the first harvest date on 23-Jul. Test weight was highest in HD1 at 56.4 lbs bu-1 with no other harvest dates statistically similar. The lowest test weight was observed at HD4 at 50.4 lbs bu-1.

 Table 23: Harvest measurements for winter rye harvest dates, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

Harvest date

Yield @

13.5% moisture

Harvest

moisture

Test

weight

 

lbs ac-1

%

lbs bu-1

23-Jul

4648

13.7 c

56.4 a

29-Jul

4489 a

15.7 b

55.1 b

7-Aug

3402 b

14.2 c

54.3 b

12-Aug

3770 b

18.4 a

50.4 c

LSD (p=0.10)

601

0.6

1.0

Trial mean

3527

15.5

54.0

ϯTreatments marked with the same letter do not differ significantly.  NS – no significant differences.

ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

The four harvest dates were analyzed for crude protein concentration, adjusted to 12% moisture, and falling number (Table 24). Crude protein ranged from 7.9% to 8.4% with the highest values observed during HD1, HD2 and HD4, which were all statistically similar and the lowest protein observed during HD3 which was statistically lower. Falling number was highest at HD1 with a value of 237 seconds, statistically higher than to HD2 at 226 seconds. After the first two harvest dates, values decreased greatly for HD3 at 136 seconds and HD4 at 127 seconds. Overall, tested DON levels were low this year and all varieties had a DON level suitable for human consumption.

 

Table 24: Grain quality for the four cereal rye variety harvest dates, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

 

 

Harvest date

Crude protein

Falling

number

 

 

@ 12% moisture

 

 

%

seconds

 

 

23-Jul

8.4

237 a

 

 

29-Jul

8.4 a

226 b

 

 

7-Aug

8.0 b

136 c

 

 

12-Aug

8.2 a

127 c

 

 

LSD (p=0.10)

0.2

11

 

 

Trial mean

8.2

182

 

ϯTreatments marked with the same letter do not differ significantly.  NS – no significant differences.

ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

Impact of Variety

While yields did not differ as an impact of harvest date, there were varietal differences between Danko and Hazlet with an average trial yield of 4052 lbs ac-1 and 4102 lbs ac-1 respectively, though the yield differences were not significant (Table 25). There were significant differences in test weight by variety, Danko at 54.6 bu ac 1 and Hazlet at 53.5 bu ac-1 and falling number with Danko averaging 224 seconds and Hazlet averaging 139 seconds. Overall, Danko had insignificantly lower yields and protein and significantly higher test weight and falling number.   

 Table 25. Harvest measurements and grain quality for winter rye varieties and harvest dates, Alburgh, VT 2020.

Variety

Harvest

date

Yield @ 13.5% moisture

Harvest moisture

Test

weight

Crude protein

Falling number

@ 12% moisture

lbs ac-1

%

lbs bu-1

%

seconds

Danko

23-Jul

4659

13.1

57.0

8.5

287

Danko

29-Jul

4443

15.9

55.6

8.4

268

Danko

7-Aug

3294

14.2

55.1

7.9

177

Danko

12-Aug

3815

18.3

50.9

8.1

163

Hazlet

23-Jul

4638

14.3

55.8

8.3

188

Hazlet

29-Jul

4535

15.4

54.5

8.5

184

Hazlet

7-Aug

3510

14.1

53.5

8.0

95

Hazlet

12-Aug

3726

18.5

49.9

8.3

91

Danko

Trial average

4052

15.4

54.6 aϯ

8.2

224 a

Hazlet

Trial average

4102

15.6

53.5 b

8.3

139 b

LSD(p=0.10)

 

NS

NS

0.7

NS

7

Trial mean

 

4077

15.5

54.0

8.2

181

ϯTreatments marked with the same letter do not differ significantly.  NS – no significant differences.

ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

 

Harvest date x variety interactions

There were statistically significant harvest date x variety interactions for falling number and harvest moisture. These interactions indicate that the varieties responded differently to harvest date for these parameters. In terms of harvest moisture, lowest values for Danko were seen prior to the fourth harvest date (18.3%), whereas lowest values for Hazlet were seen on HD1 (14.3%) and HD3 (14.1%).

Falling number

Falling number measures viscosity by recording the time in seconds it takes for a plunger to fall through a slurry to the bottom of a test tube.  The viscosity is an indicator of enzymatic (alpha-amylase) activity in the kernel which most often results from pre-harvest sprouting in the grain.  Low falling number means high enzymatic activity, or more pre-harvest sprouting damage.  This is most common if there are rain events as the grain is ripening prior to harvest.  Falling number is a widely understood indicator of wheat flour quality, though it’s use as an indicator of rye flour quality is less understood.  Low falling number in wheat, below 250, has a negative impact on bread quality and can lead to lower prices paid for the wheat or possible rejection at the mill.  The ideal range for wheat is 250-350.  High falling numbers, over 400 seconds, can potentially lead to slower fermentation, poorer loaf volume and drier bread texture, depending on the end product. Because rye bread relies on different grain components to create high-quality bread, and ferments more quickly than wheat, it is expected that lower falling numbers are preferred for rye than for wheat, possibly closer to 100-200. 

Looking at falling number, in the 2019 Harvest Date Trial Hazlet had a more severe drop in values over the 4-week period, decreasing by 139 seconds from HD1 to HD4, compared to Danko which decreased by 96 seconds from HD1 to HD4.  In this year’s trial, however, Danko had a more severe drop over the 4-week harvest period, decreasing by 124 seconds from HD1 to HD4, while Hazlet decreased 97 seconds over the same period.  Hazlet did have significantly lower falling number values overall in the trial. 

Figure 2 shows the same falling number trends from Figure 1 alongside observed rainfall between each harvest date.  From 1-Apr to 23-Jul (HD1) there was 9.24 inches of rainfall, nearly 4 inches less than the 30-year average.  One inch of rain fell between HD1 and HD2, over 4 inches fell between HD2 and HD3, and less than a quarter inch between HD3 and HD4.  On 4-Aug there was a 2.98-inch rainfall event which most likely began the sprouting process in HD3 and HD4.  The HD3 occurred three days after the rainfall, with an additional 0.12 inches falling before HD4 (Table 26).  Though small amounts of rainfall, or even prolonged periods of humid weather, can increase the risk of pre-harvest sprouting and, in turn, lower the falling number, this is a clear example of that happening in early August.

 Table 26. Precipitation received between the harvest dates, Alburgh, VT 2020.

Date

Rainfall (inches)

27-Jul

1

29-Jul

0.5

30-Jul

0.4

2-Aug

0.31

4-Aug

2.98

9-Aug

0.03

10-Aug

0.01

11-Aug

0.08

Winter Rye Nitrogen Trial – 2019/2020

Table 27 displays field and harvest measurements.  Highest yields occurred in the 90 lbs N ac-1 spring application with similarly high yields from the 90 lbs N ac-1 fall application, though the yield differences were not statistically significant across all four treatments. Test weights were highest for the control plots and lowest the 90 lbs N ac-1 spring application, but once again there was no significant difference between treatments within the trial.  All plots reached the industry ideal test weight of 56 lbs bu-1.  Although there was no significant difference in plant height between treatments, there were significant differences in lodging.  The plots with split 45 lbs N ac-1 fall/spring and 90 lbs N ac-1 spring applications lodged much more than the 90 lbs N ac-1 fall and control plots.  Nitrogen can weaken plant stems which may make plants like rye, which tend to be taller than other grains, more susceptible to lodging.  Plots with spring-applied N lodged much more significantly than plots with only fall-applied N or the control plots which received no N. 

 

Table 27: Harvest measurements by treatment, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

Treatment

Height

Lodging

Yield

Test weight

cm

%

lbs ac-1

lbs bu-1

45/45 lbs N ac-1 Fall/Spring

134

60

5288

56.5

90 lbs N ac-1 Fall

137

20 b

5314

56.4

90 lbs N ac-1 Spring

135

44 a

5465

56.3

Control

136

13 b

5256

56.3

LSD (p=0.10)ᵵ

NS

22

NS

NS

Trial mean

136

34

5331

56.5

ϯTreatments marked with the same letter do not differ significantly.  NS – no significant differences.

ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

The four treatments were analyzed for crude protein concentration, adjusted for 12% moisture, and falling number (Table 28). There was a significant difference between treatments for crude protein, with plots receiving an N application in the spring having higher protein levels.  Falling number also had significant differences between treatment with 45/45 lbs N ac-1 having the highest falling number and 90 lbs N ac-1 spring having the lowest.  An ideal falling number falls for wheat is between 250 and 300 seconds, however, lower falling numbers around 150 seconds have been acceptable to bakers using rye flour. Falling number for all treatments appear to be within an acceptable range for baking.  Overall, DON levels were low this year and all treatments had levels of DON less than the 1 ppm threshold for safe human consumption. 

 

Table 28: Grain quality by treatment, Alburgh, VT, 2020.

 

 

Treatment

Crude protein

Falling number

 

 

@ 12% moisture

 

 

%

seconds

 

 

45/45 lbs N ac-1 Fall/Spring

8.7

191 a

 

 

90 lbs N ac-1 Fall

8.1 b

170 ab

 

 

90 lbs N ac-1 Spring

9.0 a

163 b

 

 

Control

8.2 b

178 ab

 

 

LSD (p=0.10)ᵵ

0.40

25.0

 

 

Trial mean

8.5

175

 

         

 ϯTreatments marked with the same letter do not differ significantly.

 ᵵLSD; least significant difference at p=0.10.

 

 

Research conclusions:

The weather during the 2018-2019 season was cooler and wetter than average, with 74 less growing degree days than the 30-year average. The early arrival of winter in the fall of 2018 led to poor rye growth. The prolonged winter obviously further impacted winter survival of the rye varieties. Several research plots had 100% winter-kill when spring finally arrived. The weather conditions also had an impact on quality and overall growth of the crop. All varieties in 2019 did not grow to be as tall as normal, but experienced less lodging than previous trails. Test weight, yield, crude protein, and falling number were all lower in 2019 compared to the previous season. The weather during the 2019-2020 season was quite different. The winter temperatures were warmer than average, leading to strong winter survival.  A cooler than average spring but warmer and drier summer led to 3,433 Growing Degree Days (GDDs) accumulated April to July, which was 55 GDDs above the 30-year average.  Precipitation from April to July was 3.81 inches below normal.  Overall, precipitation across the entire growing season from September to July, was 1.61 inches below average, with a total of 5317 GDDs from September through July, which was 30 less than average. Hence there was no winter kill and adequate quality due to dry temperatures.

There were numerous rye varieties evaluated over the 2-year period. The average trial yields for the 2018 season were 3373 lbs ac-1 with three of the top performing varieties (Brasetto, Guardian, and Bono) yielding over 4000 lbs ac-1 that season. Comparatively, the 2019 season trial had a much lower average trial yield of 2093 lbs ac-1 with top performing varieties (Brasetto and Dolero) topping out over 3600 lbs ac-1, and finally the 2020 season yield average was over 4700 lbs ac-1 with Dolero and Bono both yielding well over 6000 lbs ac-1. Harvest moisture, test weight and crude protein were adequate, and falling number was slightly higher than the ideal range for rye flour, averaging 287 seconds with Bono, Brasetto and Serafino exceeding 300 seconds. Overall, DON levels were low across the project and all varieties had a DON level suitable for human consumption. Interestingly, the varieties Bono, Dolero, and Brasetto all performed well regardless of the year. This is important to note as weather and environment greatly impact yields and a consistent performer is critical to farm viability.

Regardless of the year, the falling number had a decreasing trend from the first harvest date until the last harvest date over the four-week harvest window for both varieties.  For rye in particular, waiting longer to harvest may result in grains that are more suited for baking as currently bakers seem to desire lower falling numbers than are needed for wheat.  End use should be considered, among other factors, when determining harvest date. Whereas low falling number (an indication of pre-harvest sprouting) may be appropriate for bakers, it is less desired for malting, a process in which grain is sprouted in a controlled method for beer and spirit production.  If the rye is destined for a malt house, brewery or distillery, lower falling number as described here may be less preferred.  During a harvest period with greater amounts of rainfall from week to week, there is greater potential for reduced quality crops. This can be an important consideration when attempting to determine ideal harvest windows as you may be forced to harvest at an earlier date to salvage a crop and maintain grain quality. While harvest date did not appear to impact yields, it did have an effect on grain quality. This trial also indicates that for some parameters, such as harvest moisture and falling number, varietal selection can also be important and varieties may react differently to a delayed harvest.

 

 

Fall nitrogen applications to cereal rye may improve stand establishment and spur growth before winter dormancy periods. However, from these experiments, it was difficult to determine a consistent effect from adjusting the timing of nitrogen applications. In 2019, nitrogen timing had no impact on yield and quality. While fall applied nitrogen treatments appeared to have slightly higher yields than other treatments, these differences were not significant enough to suggest a treatment response. The winter rye was planted relatively late and also had a short time of growth before abnormally cold temperatures occurred in October and November. This likely limited nitrogen uptake and may have been one reason little response was seen from fall N applications. Challenges with hard winter conditions and perhaps site selection resulted in winterkill within several plots in the trial, potentially influencing some of these results. In 2020, it appeared as if fall timing of nitrogen applications had minimal impact on the yield and quality of rye produced. While spring applied nitrogen treatments appeared to have slightly higher yield than other treatments, these differences were not significant enough to suggest a treatment response. There was a slight increase in protein and a significant increase in lodging with spring-applied N treatments.

 

Participation Summary
2 Farmers participating in research

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

18 Consultations
3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
2 On-farm demonstrations
1 Published press articles, newsletters
3 Webinars / talks / presentations
6 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

255 Farmers
210 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities
Education/outreach description:

In 2018, there were several educational opportunities for growers to learn about winter rye production and value added opportunities for this grain. On July 26th, 2018 the rye variety and harvest date trials were shown to the 225 participants. They were allowed to walk through and observe the different varieties. In addition, the goals of the project were shared with the attendees (2018-Field-Day-Flyer)

On November 12, 2018, a small grower meeting (15 attendees) was hosted at Peterson Quality Malthouse. The goal of the meeting was to provide grain production information to current and potential malt growers. Education focused on best management practices for growing malt (including rye as a malted grain). Growers were provided research reports and grain growing booklets.

The Northern Grain Growers are interested in growing rye for baking, malting, and distilling. The bakers that serve on the NGGA board received the grain and quality analysis from the 2018 trials. They will be performing bake tests in January and sharing results at the 2019 Grain Conference. In addition, two articles were written for the Northern Grain Growers Newsletter and distributed to 365 members in December of 2018 (NorthernGrainGrowersNewsletter2018).

2019 Maine Grain Conference, March 1, 2019, Presque Isle. Target audience was farmers, farm advisors, processors and end-users. The following talks were provided by H. Darby at this meeting in ME. Foliar and Seed Diseases in New England Organic Grains and Winter Rye Research Update. Attendees – 93

15th Annual Grain Growers Conference, ‘Stories of an Evolving Food System’, March 28, 2019, Essex, VT. This daylong event included speakers from across the United States and Canada.  Topics included malting grains, growing rice, rye breads, pollinator decline, commercial oil pressing, growing and milling spelt, cover crops, basics of growing hemp, camera-guided cultivation. Bakers presented the results from the cereal rye  Attendees – 125 (2019 Grain Conference Brochure)

Annual Northwest Crops and Soils Field Day – July 25, 2019 – ‘Twelve Years of Research – But Wait, There’s More’, Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT. Tour included research trials on organic corn, soybean, barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Research tours of winter rye variety trials, no-till grains, nitrogen management, and harvest timing. Attendees 286 (2019 Annual Field Day Flyer)

16th Annual Grain Growers Conference, ‘Revitalizing a Local Grain Community’, March 24, 2019, Essex, VT. This daylong event was to include speakers from across the United States.  Topics to be addressed were malting grains, rye breads, growing and milling spelt, cover crops, basics of organic no-till. The conference was cancelled due to the pandemic and stay at home mandate in Vermont  (2020 Grain Conference Full BrochureFINAL).

Due to the conference being suddenly canceled we quickly adapted by lining up a couple of our speakers to host webinars on the same day.

Grain Growers Webinar, Mar 24, 2020, Flavor & Function; Cover Crop Based No-till & Interseeding Techniques2-part webinar session, virtual event, 68 attendees, 2020 Grain Conference Webinar(pdf): Cover Crops Based No-Till and Interseeding (video) with Erin Silva, Growing Rye for Flavor and Function (video) with Aaron McCloud

Due to the pandemic in-person events were not feasible or safe. Our team quickly adapted to hosting Virtual Field Days. Information on the field days is listed below.

Virtual Field Day Fridays, Jul 24, Aug 7, 21, Sep 4, 18, 2020, Small grains, Integrated Pest Management, Interseeding cover crops, Solar corridors, Forages, Hops, Corn silage, Dry beans, Flint corn, Hemp, & Cover crops, 5 webinar series, virtual event, 127 attendees, opening_slide_-_welcome_(pdf)

Welcome to our Virtual Field Day Fridays (24 Jul 2020) 76 views https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsTHZyOrYLY&feature=youtu.be 

Cereal Rye: Harvest Date, Falling Number, and Bake Tests (24 Jul 2020) 70 Views https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNuzqXJSAOk&feature=youtu.be 

Research reports were created for each year’s experimental results and are posted on the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team (www.uvm.edu/extension/nwcrops).

Darby, H., Bruce, J., Jean, H., and I. Luke2019. Rye Harvest Date. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2019_Winter_Rye_Harvest_Date (accessed 15 Dec 2020). 

Darby, H., Bruce, J., Jean, H., and I. Luke. 2019. Rye Nitrogen Fertility Trial. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2019_Winter_Rye_Nitrogen_Fertility_Trial (accessed 15 Dec 2020). 

Darby, H., Bruce, J., Jean, H., and I. Luke. 2019. Winter Rye Variety Trial. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2019_Winter_Rye_Variety_Trial_Report (accessed 29 Dec 2020). 

Darby, H. and Blair, H. 2020. Rye Harvest Date. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2020-Winter-Rye-Harvest-Date-Report (accessed 1 Jan 2021). 

Darby, H. and Blair, H. 2020. Rye Nitrogen Fertility Trial. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2020-Winter-Rye-Nitrogen-Fertility-Trial-Report (accessed 1 Jan 2021). 

Darby, H. and Blair, H. 2020. Winter Rye Variety Trial. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. 2020-Winter-Rye-Variety-Trial-Report (accessed 1 Jan 2021). 

Educational materials were also developed as a component of this grant. This included a production guide on cereal rye (Rye Production Guide), 2 factsheets (Falling Number Factsheet; Rye Baking Article) and , and video recording (Rye Bake Test Video Presentation) and article in the Northern Grain Growers Association newsletter (NGGA Newsletter Spring 2020).

Darby, H. 2020. Understanding Falling Number in Cereal Crops. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. Falling-Number-Factsheet

Darby, H. 2020. Testing Rye Bread Quality with Various Falling Numbers. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. Rye_baking_article (accessed 15 Dec 2020) 

Darby, H. 2020. Cereal Rye Production Guide. University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program. St. Albans, VT. Rye-Production-Guide (accessed 30 Dec 2020) 

Learning Outcomes

138 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
Key areas in which farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and/or awareness:

Farmers attending the Malthouse meeting were asked to complete a short online survey to indicate knowledge gained and intended changes in practices. 100% of the farmers indicated they learned new knowledge about growing grain for malt. 72% indicated they were going to take a soil test to check pH levels. 56% indicated that they would begin quality testing grain. Others reported increased knowledge in disease management and harvest timing.

Farmers attending the 2019 Grain Growers Annual Conference were asked to complete a post-event survey to indicated knowledge gained and any intended changes in practices. 98% of the farmers indicated they gained knowledge in the area of grain fertility management, variety selection, and quality evaluation. 60% of the farmers indicated they planned to select different/new varieties of grain based on research and baking results. 40% of farmers indicated they planned to modify harvest timing and/or equipment to meet grain quality needs of end markets.

Farmers attending the 2020 Grain Growers Webinars were asked to complete a short online survey to indicate knowledge gained and intended changes to practices. 96% of the attendees indicated that they gained new knowledge related to the end use of rye and quality required to meet various end-uses. 40% of the farmers indicated they planned to change their current variety or adopt a new harvest strategy as a result of webinar information.

Project Outcomes

3 Farmers changed or adopted a practice
1 New working collaboration
Project outcomes:

Farmers have not had rye specific data to them in the past to make management decisions. Farmers have grown rye as a cover crop for at least a decade and now there is an interest in growing rye for value added products such as baking and distilling. Local demand has also increased helping to create a new grain market. Through this project we documented 4 farmers that implemented rye information from this project. One farm wanted to grow rye grain and needed assistance with variety selection for the baking market. The farmer tried 2 of the varieties highlighted as top performers in the project trials. Another farmer was having difficulty cleaning the harvested rye seed. Through the outreach events the farmer was able to learn about seed cleaning techniques from other farmers and program speakers. The farmer ended up purchasing a spiral cleaner and now has a more viable rye system because they have a product that is saleable to the baking industry. A third farmer had a rye crop that tested low in falling number, the baker was worried that the rye would not bake well. I shared the information from our baking trials and research trials and the rye was purchased from the farmer. Lastly a farmer was interested in selling rye to a local distiller. Based on information gained from the webinar hosted by the project he was able to locate a variety that would be suitable for distilling.

Assessment of Project Approach and Areas of Further Study:

I would not modify our methodology. This partnership grant provided farmers and researchers with a good base of information on rye and rye end-use quality appropriate for local markets. We are planning to continue the research and outreach focused on rye as the demand for the grain continues to increase. There is a vast array of additional research that needs to be conducted. This project just brushed the surface on end-use quality parameters for various rye markets. In addition, agronomic recommendations need further exploration especially fertility requirements for the crop. Varietal performance and quality characterization could be expanded to better evaluate end-use markets. The information is broadly applicable to areas where rye can be grown.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.