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Rye Grass Vs. Wheat

By Charles Pearson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Enormous fields of wheat grow throughout the world.

Rye grass and wheat grass are two valuable crops that are commonly grown throughout the world. They are both made into bread, which is one of the major sources of food in the world. Rye grass is a cool season grass, according to Penn State University. However, wheat can be grown in even colder weather.


Rye grass is as important a crop as wheat grass.

Rye grass grows rapidly and is quickly established, according to Penn State University. However, wheat can be grown more often than rye grass, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Rye grass grows more slowly than wheat grass, so farmers have to wait longer before harvesting the rye grass. Wheat grass not only grows more quickly but also can be grown early in the winter, allowing farmers to have an extra season of crops.


Wheat is commonly used to make cereal.

Both rye and wheat are used to make bread, though wheat is a more commonly made bread than rye, according to FAO. Rye grass contains more nutrients than wheat grass when it is baked into bread, according to Penn State University. However, wheat grass can be harvested as sproutings and can be turned into wheat grass juice, which can be consumed alone or can be added to vegetable juices.


Wheat grass must be planted in well-drained soil. Rye grass does best in well-drained soil, but can also survive in moist soil. However, rye grass needs more fertile soil to thrive, according to Penn State University. Rye grass has high nitrogen demands, which is sometimes be provided by combining the rye grass with legumes.


Wheat is more popular than rye as a source of protein, according to FAO. Wheat was the number one source of protein for the world, as of 2010. Wheat is an older grain than rye. Wheat is one of the oldest grains used to make cereals and bread.


Rye grass is more commonly used as a forage crop for animals than wheat grass due to the nutrient properties of the rye grass, according to Penn State University.

Rye Weeds

Botanists have bred rye grass so that it is more resistant to pests, disease and adverse environmental conditions. While this breeding has been beneficial to farmers of rye grass, the rye grass sometimes grows in wheat fields, where the rye grass becomes a dangerous weed that competes with the wheat grass for nutrients, according to the University of Kentucky. Researchers have been searching for methods of killing the unwanted rye grass without harming the wheat grass.


About the Author


Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."