Earlier this week, we were looking at this rye that has headed out across the field. This is often typical of our rye getting away from us. You can see cold injury on the leaves and on the heads. We were thinking that our dry November and December has put us under some stress and these fields headed out. After all, there were 3 weeks difference in planted in two of these fields and they both look the same.
UGA Forage Extension Agronomist Dr. Dennis Hancock says with Wrens Abruzzi variety, it has lower vernalization and is NOT uncommon to see it head out in December. In this situation, we need to let the cows go ahead and graze. Of course the problem is getting the cows to eat it; a lot of times they don’t want to get down to that growing point. Or they will just pull it up out of the ground. The other option is to mow those heads, and force the plant back into a vegetative state producing more tillers.
A lot easier said than done! Either way, I think the drought stress encouraged it to get away from us as well as the nature of the variety.