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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Facts


  • Acreage planted to rye in Oklahoma is primarily used as pasture for the state's large cattle industry. However, Oklahoma is usually the top producing state in rye grain production. Rye harvested for grain in Oklahoma usually totals over a million bushels. Much of this grain is used as seed to replant next year's crop or is shipped out-of-state by the seed industry.
  • Cereal rye is an erect annual grass with greenish blue, flat blades and an extensive fibrous root system. It resembles wheat, but usually is taller (3 5 ft) and tillers less.
  • Cereal rye is the most winter-hardy of all cereal grains, enduring temperatures as low as -30°F once established. It can germinate and grow at temperatures as low as 33°F; however, optimal temperatures are much higher.
  • Cereal rye tolerates drought better than do the other cereal grains, in part because of its extensive root system. It grows best with ample moisture, but excessive moisture during the fall and winter suppresses vegetative growth.
  • Cereal rye may be used as a cover crop, grain, hay, or pasture.