Annual Crops for Forage: Small Grains
Matures earliest of winter small grains. Balbo type, Tetra, Petkus.
Generally not as productive as rye. Matures about 10 days to 2 weeks after rye. Varieties of winter wheat grown for grain also may be used for forage.
A hybrid of wheat and rye. Matures about 5 to 10 days after rye. Can be as productive as rye.
Not as winter hardy as other small grains. Varieties of winter barley grown for grain also may be used for forage.
Varieties of spring oats grown for grain also may be used for forage.
Determine lime and fertilizer needs by soil test. Maintain pH between 6.5 and 7.0 for best results. In the absence of a soil test, refer to Table 1.2-5 for fertilizer guidelines at seeding. Nitrogen fertilization depends on prior crop and manure application. Use Table 1.7-2 as a guide.
Refer to Section 1.7: Small Grains for establishment practices.
For greenchop or silage: Harvest all small grains at late boot to heading.
For pasture: Begin grazing when adequate growth is available to support livestock. Heavy fall grazing reduces grain yields the following summer. Spring grazing may begin when plant growth has resumed. Small grains are injured by grazing after the growing point is above ground.
Rye, wheat, triticale, or barley: Both fall and spring grazing are possible.
Oats: Fall, late spring, and early summer grazing.