Forage cereals – which include varieties of oats, triticale and ryecorn – have a higher winter growth rate than most pasture options. Growth rates can vary based on the species, but generally cereals offer flexibility to any farming operation through sowing, grazing and silage or hay.
Cereals also play an important role in paddock preparation and weed control. Oats generally provide the most forage of all cereal crops. However, they can all be grazed very satisfactorily. Forage cereals can be harvested either as a cut and wilted crop or direct cut and ensiled.
When planning the harvest for silage it is important to consider the following:
- Whether it is intended for animal finishing systems or simply maintenance rations
- The quality of the dry matter yield you are seeking
- The soil types and anticipated weather conditions at harvest
- If spring sowing, when the follow-up pasture needs to be sown
- If double cropping, when the follow-up crop needs to be sown
- If you have access to the correct harvesting equipment
Forage oats are a economic, flexible and easy to establish annual cultivar that are suited to grazing, hay, silage, pasture renovation (oversowing) and grain production. One of the most common forage cereals in Australia, forage oats offer versatility and reliability – with tolerance to feeding down to the root and crown root, proven results in tough dry conditions, and ability to use as a cover crop before a summer crop. Excellent early germination & vigour gives farmers the opportunity to graze early.
Forage Triticale is a cereal crop developed from crosses between wheat and cereal rye that is known for its excellent vigour, drought tolerance and high tolerance to waterlogged soils and soil acidity. The wheat and rye characteristics blend well, combining the enhanced adaptability and rust resistance of rye and high quality & yielding of wheat. Triticale is ideal as a cover crop.
Forage Ryecorn is a reliable winter season performer, delivering a quick winter feed option that is ready to graze within 4-8 weeks. Excellent pasture yields are available with Forage Ryecorn when combined with high performing annual ryegrass. It can also fill the feed gap by sowing with Italian ryegrass to extend spring growth.