Bulletin No.


Document Type



Animal Husbandry Department


The growing of rye as a grain crop is practiced quite generally throughout South Dakota. Statistics issued by the State Department of Agriculture at Pierre show that there were over one-eighth as many acres of rye as wheat grown in 1930. About one-fifth of the total acreage is credited to the counties in the North Central and the Northeastern districts in the East River section, while the largest county acreage is credited to Tripp county in the South Central-district in the West River country. All counties with the exception of two are credited with rye acreage. Corn and barley are the principal feeds grown in the State for fattening both cattle and swine. Feeding rye to livestock under ordinary conditions is not practiced to any great extent because the price as a rule is too high when compared with the prices of corn and barley. Conditions sometimes arise, however, which make it advisable to use rye for feeding purposes. The widespread cultivation of rye over the state, the inaccessibility of markets in many cases, and the relatively low market value during the last three years probably are the principal factors responsible for the increased inquiry as to the suitability of this grain as a feed for fattening livestock. In Henry and Morrison's tables of digestibility of grains we find that in composition, rye resembles wheat and barley more than it does corn, although practically the same in digestible nutrients as corn. From these data corn has from three to four times as much digestible fat as rye, while barley and rye both have more digestible crude protein than corn. Perchance these differences in composition were the principal causes of difficulties experienced in feeding rye both whole and ground as the sole grain rations.


feeding cattle, feeding swine, cattle nutrition, swine nutrition



Publication Date









South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts