Rye is one of the best green manures for winter use, it is the best cool-season cereal cover for absorbing soil nitrogen and gives good crop cover to help prevent nutrient leaching. It is a hardy annual and it can lift and release up to 90% of nitrate to the next crop.

It has no taproot, but its quick-growing, fibrous root system help to break up heavy soils, adding organic matter and improving soil structure. The roots significantly reduce nitrate leaching and provide exceptional weed suppression.

Secale cereal, also known as Hungarian Grazing Rye or Fodder Rye, is one of the best cool season cover crops for out competing weeds, especially small-seeded, light-sensitive annuals such as lambsquarters, pigweed, chickweed and foxtail. It can be paired with legumes (to increase weed-suppressing effects), grasses or other cereal grains
When planted in the winter, it actually grows during any warmer days, when sunlight temporarily brings the plant to above freezing, even while there is still general snow cover.

Rye works well as a strip cover crop and windbreak within vegetables or fruit crops and as a quick cover for rotation gaps or if another crop fails. Tall and quick-growing can be used as a nurse-crop to protect seedlings and is often used as an understory for tall crops such as corn. You can overseed rye into vegetables with consistently good results. You can also overseed rye into brassicas, into beans just before leaf drop or between rows of fruit trees.