Producing sufficient high quality forage on farms is becoming difficult given current economic and environmental pressures. Farmers are looking for strategies to improve yield and quality of their own forage to reduce the financial burden of purchasing feed off-farm. In addition, with increasing focus on managing farm nutrient balances for environmental reasons, farmers are also looking to decrease the importation of additional nutrients from feed onto their farms. One strategy for accomplishing this is utilizing winter grains, such as rye, wheat and triticale, as forage crops. These crops could be grazed or harvested in the fall to extend the grazing season, and in the spring providing early forage prior to planting corn silage. The fall planted forage also provides essential soil cover during winter months to reduce soil and nutrient loss. In the fall of 2016, the University of Vermont Northwest Crops and Soils Program initiated a trial investigating the integration of winter grains for forage into corn silage cropping systems.


Vermont, University of Vermont Extension

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