Feral rye, commonly referred to as cereal, winter, common, or volunteer rye, is an important weed in winter wheat production in many parts of the United States and the world. Feral rye reduces net profits in the United States by more than $27 million due to lower grain yields, increased dockage, and reduced land values. To date, limited research has been conducted on components that make feral rye a problem in various cropping systems. Herbicide-tolerant wheat technology can be used to manage feral rye, but current efficacy levels are not adequate for high feral rye densities. In addition, the long-term effects that individual management strategies may have on feral rye populations are unknown. This review addresses the physical, environmental, and genetic characteristics of Secale cereale. Current economic impact, management, and research data gaps are also discussed.
Nomenclature: Feral rye, Secale cereale L. #3 SECCE; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.
Additional index words: Integrated pest management, winter wheat, winter annual grasses, best management practices.