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Rye Maps and Statistics

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Figure 1*

Figure 2* - Global Rye Production Map

Rye's affinity for cool weather is reflected in the production map (Figure 2). Rye can be grown in a wider range of environmental conditions than any other small grain, from Scandinavia to southern Chili, as well as at high elevations along the equator (4, 7). However, it cannot survive in flooded areas during wintertime (7) and it is rare in tropical and subtropical countries (2). The top 10 rye-producing countries grow and harvest almost 90% of the global rye production. Poland, Germany and the Russian Federation are the three largest growers, and they also have the greates variance in their production. Figure 2 (above right) shows production levels of different countries across the globe. Together South America and Africa produce less than 10% of the world supply.

Rye growing areas and harvest have diminished by more than half (see Figures 3 & 4) - from 35,000,000 MT on 30,000,000 hectares in 1961 to 15,000,000 MT on 7,000,000 hectares in 2005. Rye seems to be the least significant cereal crop for production (see Cereal Statistics) but crop improvement techniques are still being used to increase yields and defeat pests. Modern harvest equipment is not built to manage the significant height of rye, and the lack of dwarf varieties has lead to the decline in production (1)

Figure 3*
For more information on global rye production and trends see:

*FAOSTAT 2005 Data (9)


  1. Allen, T. The World Supply of Fall (Winter) Rye. From Crop Development Center, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. URL:
  2. Animal Feed Resources Information System. Secale Cereale Accessed July 2006.
  3. Armstrong, W.P. (20002-2006) Photos Of Some Important Cereal Grasses, Rye, Wheat, Sorghum & Rice. Accessed 6/2006 from
  4. Ecoport Database. (2002) Cereale Secale. Originally contributed by FAO Accessed from****&entityDisplayCategory=full April, 2006.
  5. FAOSTAT data, 2006. Last Accessed June 2006
  6. Hormel Foods. Rye. Glossary of Kitchen and Food Terms. Accessed 4/24/06
  7. Oelke, E.A., Oplinger, E.S., Bahri, H., Durgan, B. R., Putnam, D. H., Doll, J.D. and Kelling, K.A. (1990). Rye, in Alternative Field Crops Manual.
  8. Small, E. 1999. New crops for Canadian agriculture. p. 15-52. [Rye (Secale cereale L.)] In: J. Janick (ed.), Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
  9. USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  10. Wikipedia contributors (2006). Oat. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 2006 from