Rye
Overview
 
Rye is a grass
Poaceae
The Poaceae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called grasses, although the term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not in the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes and sedges...

 grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae
Triticeae
Triticeae is a tribe within the Pooideae subfamily of grasses that includes genera with many domesticated species. Major crop genera are found in this tribe including wheat , barley, and rye; crops in other genera include some for human consumption and others used for animal feed or rangeland...

) and is closely related to barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. Rye grain is used for flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, rye bread
Rye bread
Rye bread is a type of bread made with various percentages of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat flour...

, rye beer
Rye beer
Rye beer refers to any beer in which rye is substituted for some portion of the barley malt.One example of this is roggenbier which is a specialty beer produced with up to sixty percent rye malt...

, some whiskeys, some vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

s, and animal fodder
Fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries, or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats
Rolled oats
Rolled oats are traditionally oat groats that have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then steamed and lightly toasted. The oat, like the other cereals, has a hard, inedible outer husk that must be removed before the grain can be eaten. After the outer husk has been removed from...

.

Rye is a cereal grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 and should not be confused with ryegrass
Ryegrass
Ryegrass is a genus of nine species of tufted grasses in the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family. Also called tares , these plants are native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but are...

, which is used for lawns, pasture, and hay for livestock.
Rye is one of a number of species that grow wild in central and eastern Turkey, and adjacent areas.
Encyclopedia
Rye is a grass
Poaceae
The Poaceae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called grasses, although the term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not in the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes and sedges...

 grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae
Triticeae
Triticeae is a tribe within the Pooideae subfamily of grasses that includes genera with many domesticated species. Major crop genera are found in this tribe including wheat , barley, and rye; crops in other genera include some for human consumption and others used for animal feed or rangeland...

) and is closely related to barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. Rye grain is used for flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, rye bread
Rye bread
Rye bread is a type of bread made with various percentages of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat flour...

, rye beer
Rye beer
Rye beer refers to any beer in which rye is substituted for some portion of the barley malt.One example of this is roggenbier which is a specialty beer produced with up to sixty percent rye malt...

, some whiskeys, some vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

s, and animal fodder
Fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries, or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats
Rolled oats
Rolled oats are traditionally oat groats that have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then steamed and lightly toasted. The oat, like the other cereals, has a hard, inedible outer husk that must be removed before the grain can be eaten. After the outer husk has been removed from...

.

Rye is a cereal grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 and should not be confused with ryegrass
Ryegrass
Ryegrass is a genus of nine species of tufted grasses in the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family. Also called tares , these plants are native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but are...

, which is used for lawns, pasture, and hay for livestock.

History

Rye is one of a number of species that grow wild in central and eastern Turkey, and adjacent areas. Domesticated rye occurs in small quantities at a number of Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 sites in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, such as PPNB Can Hasan III, but is otherwise virtually absent from the archaeological record until the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 of central Europe, c. 1800-1500 BC. It is possible that rye traveled west from Turkey as a minor admixture in wheat (possibly as a result of Vavilovian mimicry
Vavilovian mimicry
Vavilovian mimicry is a form of mimicry in plants where a weed comes to share one or more characteristics with a domesticated plant through generations of artificial selection. It is named after Nikolai Vavilov, a prominent Russian plant geneticist who identified the centres of origin of...

), and was only later cultivated in its own right. Although archeological evidence of this grain has been found in Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 contexts along the Rhine, Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, and in the British Isles, Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 was dismissive of rye, writing that it "is a very poor food and only serves to avert starvation" and spelt
Spelt
Spelt is a hexaploid species of wheat. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the...

 is mixed into it "to mitigate its bitter taste, and even then is most unpleasant to the stomach" (N.H. 18.40).

Since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, rye has been widely cultivated in Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and is the main bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

 cereal in most areas east of the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

-German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 border and north of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

.

Claims of much earlier cultivation of rye, at the Epipalaeolithic site of Tell Abu Hureyra
Tell Abu Hureyra
Tell Abu Hureyra is an archaeological site located in the Euphrates valley in modern Syria. The remains of the villages within the tell come from over 4,000 years of habitation, spanning the Epipaleolithic and Neolithic periods. Ancient Abu Hureyra was occupied between 11,000 and 7,500 years ago...

 in the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 valley of northern Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, remain controversial. Critics point to inconsistencies in the radiocarbon dates, and identifications based solely on grain, rather than on chaff
Chaff
Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw...

.

Agronomy

Winter rye is any breed of rye planted in the fall to provide ground cover for the winter. It actually grows during any warmer days of the winter, when sunlight temporarily brings the plant to above freezing, even while there is still general snow cover. It can be used to prevent the growth of winter-hardy weeds, and can either be harvested as a bonus crop, or tilled directly into the ground in spring to provide more organic matter for the next summer's crop. It is sometimes used in winter garden
Winter garden
The origin of the winter garden dates back to the 17th to 19th centuries where European nobility would construct large conservatories that would house tropical and subtropical plants and would act as an extension of their living space. Many of these would be attached to their main palaces...

s, and is a very common nurse crop
Nurse crop
In agriculture, a nurse crop is an annual crop used to assist in establishment of a perennial crop. The widest use of nurse crops is in the establishment of legumaceous plants such as alfalfa, clover, and trefoil...

.

The flame moth
Flame (moth)
The Flame is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout Europe.This species has creamy-buff forewings with black streaking along the costa. The hindwings are whitish with a dark line along the margin. The wingspan is 30-36 mm...

, rustic shoulder-knot
Rustic Shoulder-knot
The Rustic Shoulder-knot is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed throughout Europe and is also found in North America....

 and turnip moth
Turnip Moth
The Turnip Moth is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is a common European species, but it is also found in Asia and Africa, very likely having been spread by the international trade in nursery stock...

 are among the species of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 whose larvae feed on rye.

Production and consumption statistics

Top Eleven Rye Producers — 2005
(million metric ton)
9.2*
3.6
3.4
2.8
1.2
1.1
0.6
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.2
World Total 13.3
EU 2008 figures include Poland, Germany
and Austria.
Source: FAO 

Minerals
33 mg
2.67 mg
121 mg
374 mg
264 mg
6 mg
3.73 mg
0.450 mg
2.680 mg
0.035 mg

Rye is grown primarily in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The main rye belt stretches from northern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 through Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 into central and northern Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Rye is also grown in North America (Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the USA), in South America (Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

), in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, in Kazakstan and in northern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

Production levels of rye are falling in most of the producing nations owing to falling demand. For instance, production of rye in Russia fell from 13.9 million tons in 1992 to just 3.4 Mt in 2005. Corresponding figures for other countries are as follows: Poland - 5.9 Mt in 1992 and 3.4 Mt in 2005; Germany - 3.3 Mt & 2.8 Mt; Belarus - 3.1 Mt & 1.2 Mt; China - 1.7 Mt & 0.6 Mt; Kazakhstan - 0.6 Mt & 0.02 Mt.

Most rye is consumed locally, and is exported only to neighboring countries, but not worldwide.

Diseases

Rye is highly susceptible to the ergot
Ergot
Ergot or ergot fungi refers to a group of fungi of the genus Claviceps. The most prominent member of this group is Claviceps purpurea. This fungus grows on rye and related plants, and produces alkaloids that can cause ergotism in humans and other mammals who consume grains contaminated with its...

 fungus. Consumption of ergot-infected rye by humans and animals results in a serious medical condition known as ergotism
Ergotism
Ergotism is the effect of long-term ergot poisoning, traditionally due to the ingestion of the alkaloids produced by the Claviceps purpurea fungus which infects rye and other cereals, and more recently by the action of a number of ergoline-based drugs. It is also known as ergotoxicosis, ergot...

. Ergotism can cause both physical and mental harm, including convulsions, miscarriage, necrosis of digits, and hallucinations. Historically, damp northern countries that have depended on rye as a staple crop were subject to periodic epidemics of this condition. There have been "occurrence[s] of ergotism with periods where there were high incidents of people persecuted for being witches. Emphasis was placed on the Salem witch trials
Salem witch trials
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693...

 in Massachusetts in 1692, where there was a sudden rise in the number of people accused of being witches, but earlier examples were taken from Europe, as well."

Uses

Rye bread
Rye bread
Rye bread is a type of bread made with various percentages of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat flour...

, including pumpernickel
Pumpernickel
Pumpernickel is a type of very heavy, slightly sweet rye bread traditionally made with coarsely ground rye. It is often made with a combination of rye flour and whole rye berries. It has been long associated with the Westphalia region of Germany. The first written mention of the black bread of...

, is a widely eaten food in Northern and Eastern Europe. Rye is also used to make crisp bread
Crisp bread
Crisp bread or hard bread is a flat and dry type of bread or cracker, containing mostly rye flour...

. Rye flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 is high in gliadin
Gliadin
Gliadin is a glycoprotein present in wheat and several other cereals within the grass genus Triticum. Gliadins are prolamins and are separated on the basis of electrophoretic mobility and isoelectric focusing.- Types :...

 but low in glutenin
Glutenin
Glutenin is the glutelin derived from wheat. Gluteninis a protein best known for its role, along with gliadin, in the creation of gluten with its disulfide inter- and intra-molecule links. Glutenin consists of 20% HMW subunits, which are relatively low in sulfur...

. It therefore has a lower gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

 content than wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 flour. It also contains a higher proportion of soluble fiber.

Other uses of rye include rye whiskey, kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

 and an alternative medicine
Alternative medicine
Alternative medicine is any healing practice, "that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine." It is based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than on scientific evidence....

 known as rye extract. Rye straw is used to make corn dollies
Corn dolly
Corn dollies or corn mothers are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanization.Before Christianisation, in traditional pagan European culture it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop, and that the harvest made it effectively homeless...

.

Cultivation

Rye grows well in much poorer soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

s than those necessary for most cereal grains. Thus, it is an especially valuable crop in regions where the soil has sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

 or peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

. Rye plants withstand cold better than other small grains do. Rye will survive with snow cover that would otherwise result in winter-kill for winter wheat. Most farmers grow winter ryes, which are planted and begin to grow in autumn. In spring, the plants develop and produce their crop.
Fall planted rye shows fast growth. By late June plants reach their maximum height, of about four feet (102 cm) while spring planted wheat has only recently germinated. Vigorous growth suppresses even the most noxious weed competitors, and rye can be grown without application of herbicides.

External links

  • Rolf Schlegel: Rye cytogenetics and breeding (Secale cereale L.)
  • Rolf Schlegel: Genes, markers, and linkage data of rye(Secale cereale L.)
  • Rolf Schlegel: Current List of Wheats with Rye and Alien
  • Rolf Schlegel: Plant breeding updates
  • Growing Rye hosted by the UNT Government Documents Department
  • Rye recipes
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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