College-wide Navigational Links | Go to Local Content
Main Content |

Commodities: Field Crops: Forages: FAQs

My supplier has got a cheaper variety of rye (or wheat, oats, or ryegrass). What's the difference between it and the ones you recommend?

There are so many varieties of rye (wheat, oats, and ryegrass) that they defy listing. They are grown all over the world, and each location has a variety or group of varieties that perform well there. However, when the supply is tight in some of our best varieties, suppliers look at more economical options (for the producer and for themselves). Unfortunately, that is when offers come in for "this super variety we have here in Minnesota" or who knows where else.

These varieties are likely not well suited to Georgia conditions. If they were bred and were official releases from a company or university, it is likely they were intentionally chosen to met the needs of a specific niche or region.

Georgia has rather mild winters compared to where many other winter annuals are grown. Some of these imported varieties may be winter hardy, but may not be as productive during our winter conditions. Plus, we will know nothing about how it would withstand our disease pressure, which is a very major factor in our consideration of recommended varieties. I suspect most imported varieties will be very susceptible to several of the fungal diseases which plague our winter annuals.

We really do have some really good varieties to choose from in Georgia. We have breeders in the region - like Dr. Jerry Johnson (UGA - Griffin) and Dr. Ann Blount (University of Florida) who have provided us with great choices over the years. We know how these varieties will perform and how they withstand our disease problems. We subject them to a rigorous evaluation, and we are confident that the recommended varieties are worthy of your hard earned dollar.

The bottom line is: I know seed supplies are tight and seed is expensive, but a little more expense is better than taking a chance on total stand failure.