Useful forage cereal terminology
Cross between wheat and ryecorn. Most are bred for spring planting and grain, but a few are designed for autumn planting and single-grazing, or spring silage. DoubleTake is the only triticale bred for multi-grazing.
Spring-planted cereal for whole-crop cereal silage
Cereal grown for one grazing only; includes oats and some triticales.
Cereal that reliably re-grows after autumn or winter grazing. DoubleTake is the best cereal for this purpose. Other triticales, barley and oats will only re-grow in mild climates and with very careful management.
Whole crop cereal silage (WCCS)
Cereal harvested when grain has reached full size but still soft (38% dry matter); includes auturmn-sown DoubleTake or spring sown triticales and barley.
Green-chop cereal silage
Cereal silage harvested at the boot stage and wilted; similar properties to pasture silage.
- Forage oats provide a large amount of feed for a single grazing during winter. They can be planted in February for early-winter grazing, through to April/May in mild climates for late-winter grazing. Oats are also popular for growing between maize crops and harvesting for green silage in September, because they can production 44% more than annual ryegrass and are up to $600/ha more profitable to grow.
- Oats are also planted in early spring to produce green-chop silage. This is an effective way to ensure adequate silage storage in districts where dry spring weather often restricts amounts of grass silage that can be harvested.
- Barley is planted in spring for whole-crop silage. It matures quicker than triticale, so becomes the preferred species when crops cannot be planted until mid to late-spring, or in dryland climates. Barley is also used as a stepping stone for establishing Lucerne.
- Triticale is a cross between wheat and ryecorn. Most autumn- planted triticale cultivars can only be grazed once, but DoubleTake is the only triticale that will reliably grow back after grazing, and can be grazed 1 – 2 times in winter and then kept for spring silage production.
- Triticale is also planted in winter and early-spring for whole- crop silage production, with no grazing.
Peas can be added to spring-planted triticale for whole-crop silage. Provider peas are a good option to boost metabolisable energy (ME) and quality of silage.
Ryecorn is used in a wide variety of situations over a wide range of soil types, farm locations and fertility rangers. Ryecorn can be either autumn or spring sown.
How could forage cereals fit into deer farm systems?
Triticale is very palatable to deer and it has good nutritional quality. It must, however, be block grazed with back fences to create reliable re-growth. Oats can be strip grazed, but in the case of young stags, must be grazed before they lose their protein content. The later maturing and higher quality oats are preferred options. Silage is also used to boost nutrition of deer when pasture availability is low.