Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #213494

Title: Fall Growth Potential of Cereal-Grain Forages

item Gunsaulis, Johnny
item Coblentz, Wayne
item Bacon, Robert
item Ogden, Robin
item Coffey, Kenneth
item Hubbell, Donald
item Skinner, J. Vaughn
item Caldwell, J

Submitted to: Joint Meeting of the ADSA, AMSA, ASAS and PSA
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/13/2007
Publication Date: 7/10/2007
Citation: Gunsaulis, J.L., Coblentz, W.K., Bacon, R.K., Ogden, R.K., Coffey, K.P., Hubbell, D.S., Skinner, J., Caldwell, J.D. 2007. Fall Growth Potential of Cereal-Grain Forages. Joint Meeting of the ADSA, AMSA, ASAS and PSA. Journal of Animal Science (supplement 1). 85:430.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In Arkansas, producers utilizing cereal grains as fall forage for weaned calves usually do not produce a grain crop the following summer. Our objectives were to evaluate eight diverse varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) specifically for their potential to accumulate forage DM during fall. All varieties were drilled into prepared seedbeds at Fayetteville and Batesville during early September of 2004 and 2005. Beginning in mid-October, plots were harvested for DM yield at two-week intervals that continued through December. Variety x harvest date interactions or tendencies for interaction (P = 0.069) were observed for all combinations of site and year. For Fayetteville 2004, triticale and oat varieties accumulated DM in a cubic (P = 0.040) pattern, most likely because growing tillers exhibited stem elongation, and were then susceptible to freeze damage in late December. Generally, wheat and rye varieties accumulated DM in less complex patterns over harvest dates, but the maximum numerical yield for any wheat variety was only 2,554 kg/ha compared to 4,661 kg/ha for oat. For Batesville 2004 and Fayetteville 2005, DM yields for varieties ranked similarly, but respective overall mean yields (490 and 988 kg/ha) were only 25 and 50% of those for Fayetteville 2004 (1,960 kg/ha) due to drought. For Batesville 2005, favorable growing conditions coupled with a sharp mid-November freeze (-7oC), created yield responses that were unique relative to other site-years. Yield of DM increased quadratically (P = 0.002) for wheat, rye, and triticale varieties throughout the sampling period, accumulating a mean maximum yield of 4,148 kg/ha on the final harvest date. In contrast, oat varieties were especially sensitive to freezing temperatures in November, and averaged only 2,484 kg/ha on the same date. Producers requiring high-quality forage in the fall and winter can usually improve fall production by using oat or other species that exhibit stem elongation; however, this trait will likely increase susceptibility to freezing temperatures, thereby making continued growth into the winter or winter survival problematic.