Silage Crop Management

 
      
 
 
 Knowledge Nuggets | Fact Sheets | Research Papers
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Knowledge Nuggets
  • When trying new crops, start small. Grow 5-10 acres in the first year, take yield and feed data and observe how the livestock accept the feed and monitor their performance.
  • Expand acreage from year to year as desirable.
  • Assess the ability of the crop to grow well over varying growing conditions
  • Cereal silage is grown in a wide variety of climatic and soil conditions, is more drought resistant than alfalfa stands and are better adapted to long, dry summers.
  • Spring-seeded cereals are not subject to winter kill.
  • Some cereal silage species change in palatability depending on stage of harvest. Earlier harvesting increases the crude protein level of legumes and grasses. Adjust harvest time to accommodate palatability and nutrient needs of the livestock to be fed.
  • Spring triticale is higher yielding than barley and has a nutritional value similar to or greater than some barley varieties.
  • Corn is very productive, has a very high nutritive value and while expensive to grow, should be considered in areas with adequate heat units, moisture and fertility.
  • Mixing cereals stabilizes yields from year to year due to the broader adaptability of a mixture compared to a straight stand but tends to be lower in yield.
  • Use cereals because they are flexible for land and time use when combined in a system with perennial forages. Cereal silages not only spread out workload at harvest, but also reduce the risk of high feed costs as a result of perennial forage crop failure when untimely dry weather conditions and winterkill occur.
  • Nitrogen fertilization has a marked effect on increasing the crude protein of grass hay crops and to a lesser extent of annual crops.
  • The economic value of all options must be placed in the context of the entire animal production system and not evaluated as a single factor.
Factsheets

Annual Crops for Greenfeed, Silage and Grazing - PDF format only

Brassicas and Chicory for Forage - PDF format only

Barley Silage Calculator

Cereal Silages: 4. Factors affecting silage intake and milk production - PDF format only

Crops for Silage Production

Dryland Agronomic Practices for Spring Triticale Production in Alberta

Ensiling Sunflowers - Manitoba

Forage Production From Spring Cereals and Cereal-Pea Mixtures

Golden German Millet Production

Growing Degree Days of Cereal Crops

Harvesting and Preserving Hay Crop Silage - PDF format only

How Planting Date Affects Yield and Harvest Time of Swath Grazing and Greenfeed - PDF format only

Silage Varieties for Alberta - PDF format only

Sunflower Silage - PDF format only

Using Growing Degree Days to Predict Plant Stages - PDF format only

Research Papers

Changes in kernal characteristics during grain filling in silage-specific and dual-purpose corn hybrids - available in PDF format only

Comparative yield and feeding value of barley, oat and triticale silages - available in PDF format only

Evaluation of Forage Type Barley Varieties for Forage Yield and Nutritive Value in the Peace Region of Alberta - available in PDF format only

Seed ratios and rates that maximize annual forage production in Black soil zones of central Saskatchewan - available in PDF only

Fatty acids in forages. 1: Factors affecting concentrations - available in PDF format only

Fatty acids in forages. 11. In vitro ruminal biohydrogenation of linolenic and linoleic acids from timothy - available in PDF format only

Hybrid and population density affect yield and quality of silage maize in central Alberta - available as PDF only

Optimizing Yield and Quality of Cereal Silage

The influence of harvest management and fertilizers on herbage yields of cool-season grasses grown in the aspen parkland of north eastern Saskatchewan

Spring Triticale Varieties Forage Yield, Nutrients Composition and Suitablilty for Beef Cattle Production
 
 
 
  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Janet Fletcher.
This information published to the web on October 16, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on November 2, 2015.
 

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