Before chemicals and heavy use of fertilizer, we raised rye almost every year. We would somerfallow certain fields by plowing down tall sweet clover as a green manure crop. In the fall we would plant some of the somerfallow to rye as a means to control wild oats. Rye roots will penetrate any wild oat kernels in the ground where the roots grow, which kills the wild oat seeds. The fields would be relatively free from wild oats for 2 years after raising rye.
We always had a heavy stand of straw, so the Cockshutt combines really had a workout to run the heavy windrows through.