The Best Time To Cut Cereals For Green Feed

“Later cutting will increase the plant fibre content, which reduces digestibility and the protein level declines as the cereal crop goes from the boot to the hard-dough stage.”

– JOHN MCGREGOR

Cutting cereals in the soft-dough stage for green feed is generally the best balance between yield and quality, says John McGregor, Mani toba Agr icul ture Food and Rural Initiatives’, Steinbach-based farm production adviser.

With cereals just heading out it’s a question farmers often ask, he said an e-mail last week.

The proper stage varies with the crop.

Crop

Barley: Oats:

Wheat: Fall Rye: Triticale:

“Later cutting will increase the plant fibre content, which reduces digestibility and the protein level declines as the cereal crop goes from the boot to the hard-dough stage,” McGregor said. “Depending on the type of livestock you are feeding, early is usually better.”

Barley at the early milk stage will produce more milk per pound but some research shows average daily gain was greater with barley at the soft-dough stage. In that research the animals also ate more to get those gains, he said.

About the author

Comments

explore

Stories from our other publications