Spring cereal grains such as oats, barley, triticale and wheat can have the potential to provide high yield and quality feed for livestock. These cool season annuals can provide early season grazing, as well as high quality stored feed. Spring grains are generally planted in mid to late April and can be harvested at various stages of development. In addition, production of high quality forage in the early season can improve the level of beneficial fats (i.e. Omege-3) in the milk. The objective of this project was to evaluate yield and quality of various spring grain species harvested in the vegetative, boot or soft dough stage. The overall goal of this project is to help organic dairy producers reduce their reliance on expensive concentrates through the production of a variety of high quality annual forages. 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 conclusions. This project was supported through the Organic Valley Farmers Advocating for Organics fund.
Vermont, University of Vermont Extension
Darby, Heather; Monahan, Susan; Cummings, Erica; Harwood, Hannah; and Madden, Rosalie, "Small Grain Forage Trial" (2012). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 35.