Cool season annual forages, such as cereal grains, can provide early season grazing as well as high quality stored feed. However, it is unclear if quality and yield of these forages could be improved through better fertility management. Improved quality of homegrown forages can help to reduce expensive grain purchases. In addition, production of high quality forage can improve the level of beneficial fats (i.e. Omege-3) in the milk. In order to produce forage with the highest levels of beneficial fats management practices may need to be modified. It is unclear if nitrogen management will impact the level of beneficial fats in the forages. The goal of this project was to determine yields, quality, and fatty acid (FA) levels of annual cool season forage harvested at various growth stages and under different fertility regimes. The data presented here is from one replicated research trial in Vermont. Crop performance data from additional tests in different locations and often over several years, should be compared before you make decisions about planting small grains. Support for this project came from the Organic Valley Farmers Advocating for Organics fund.
Vermont, University of Vermont
Darby, Heather; Monahan, Susan; Cummings, Erica; Harwood, Hannah; and Madden, Rosalie, "Small Grain Forage Trial Nitrogen Fertility and Harvest Date" (2012). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 268.