Assessing the winter hardiness of perennial cereal rye relative to winter cereals traditionally grown in western Canada
Perennial cereal (PC) rye (Secale cereale x S. montanum) is reported to be a three to four year perennial forage crop. At AAFC-Swift Current, SK, PC rye was compared to three winter triticale varieties (Pika, Prego, and Bobcat), CDC Clair winter wheat and Prima fall rye for winter hardiness. Small plots were seeded at six dates (July 18, Aug. 3, Aug. 16, Aug. 30, Sept. 7, and Sept. 17) in 2001, with a defoliation treatment occurring during the first week of October. When compared to the winter cereals for winter survival under field conditions, PC rye was tied for second for a mid-July seeding date, and tied for first for early and mid-Aug. seeding dates. PC rye survival was not different (P>0.05) between varieties for late Aug. and Sept. seeding dates. Results found the optimum time to plant PC rye to ensure maximum winter hardiness was mid-to-late Aug. PC rye was sensitive to late-fall defoliation with the greatest survival reduction occurring for the mid-July seeding date.
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