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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340578

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Potential for increased use of cereal grain forages on dairy operations

item Akins, Matthew - University Of Wisconsin
item Coblentz, Wayne

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2017
Publication Date: 5/9/2017
Citation: Akins, M.S., Coblentz, W.K. 2017. Potential for increased use of cereal grain forages on dairy operations. Popular Publication. p. 5. Midwest Forage Focus. May 2017.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Farmers are increasingly using cereal grain cover crops, which allows them to take advantage of additional growing days in early spring and late fall. The use of cereal grain forages, such as rye, wheat, or triticale as cover crops helps to reduce soil and nutrient losses, and also allows for additional opportunities to harvest high quality forage and/or grain. Furthermore, yields of DM can be impressive. Recent work at the University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station found that DM yields of triticale were greater than 5 tons/acre when plants were harvested at the soft-dough stage of growth. Yields of fall-grown oats typically range between 2 and 3 tons /acre without irrigation. Not only do these forage options provide needed forage, but they also establish another opportunity for applying manure in summer. This is important for operations that are limited in manure storage and/or available land for spreading. Overall, use of cereal grain forages as a cover crops, or late summer planted oat allows producers to take advantage of early and late season growing days.