Rye (Secale cereale) is an all-purpose crop: more frost and drought tolerant than wheat or oats, and capable of surviving in poor soils. Its role as a cover crop is to serve as a nutrient catch for unused soil nitrogen, build organic matter for soils and suppress weeds. When properly fertilized, and allowed to seed, it becomes a highly nutritious, filling and digestible grain flour. Plantings in the late summer for a late winter harvest or late winter for late fall harvest are most common.
330-345 days from seed to grain. Annual. Photo by Dmitrij Rodionov, DR (Own work); licensed via Wikimedia Commons. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.