Winter Rye and Allelopathy
Besides for being a nutrient scavenger, Rye is well known for its allelopathic effects on many types of weeds. These allelopathic tendencies contribute to weed suppression. Allelochemicals are produced by all plants. Decomposing rye residue produces a toxin called butyric which is found in the herbicide 2,4-DB (Butyrac) and also a toxin called acetic, found in 2,4-D. Not only can rye lower our fertilizer cost but also our herbicide cost. Studies are now being evaluated on the benefits of winter rye being utilized as a weed free planting preceding a planting of switch grass.