Wholecrop Mill: 75-85;
Combine and soda treat, dry, or add propionic: 85+;
Combine and store: Soda treat or roll.
When considering your options you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have enough forage?
- Are you already feeding a mixed forage diet?
- What type of animals are you feeding?
- What is your storage facilities best suited to?
Wholecrop and Forage Options:
(a) Wheat, barley, oats and triticale can be used;
(b) Earliest harvest -- soft cheese stage;
(c) Aim for short chop length and ensile well;
(d) Select a suitable additive to help prevent secondary fermentation;
(e) Flexible feed, no limit on feed rate provided that protein and minerals are correctly balanced;
(f) Ideal where maize is not an option;
(g) Harvest dates: Last week in July to the first week in August for spring crops.
(a) Specifically designed to treat wholecrop cereals at higher dry matter;
(b) It can also be done with wheat, barley, triticale and oats;
(c) Harvest takes place between 55pc and 70pc DM, which gives a large window of opportunity;
(d) It is necessary to have a secondary processing mill on the harvester;
(e) The crop is preserved by the addition of an additive, which stabilises the drier material;
(f) The wholecrop mill has a higher starch content than conventional wholecrop, and processing will increase the rate of grain fermentation;
(g) Clamps should not be outdoors and should remain sealed for a minimum of 30 days;
(h) Harvest dates: Second and third weeks of August.
There are wide and varied options for processing and storage of grain and the following are the most widely practiced on Irish farms:
(a) Combined at 28-37pc moisture;
(b) Mechanically crimped and preservative applied;
(c) Consolidated, sheeted and 3-4 weeks allowed for ensiling;
(d) Stabilises at a pH of 4-4.5;
(e) Over-dry material might need to have water added;
(f) Effect on rumen will depend on crop and preservative used;
(g) This treatment is seen to have the best results on wheat.
(a) This is possibly the cheapest treatment option this year;
(b) Grain is treated off the combine between 18pc and 30pc moisture;
(c) Dried grain can also be used in the same system after storage;
(d) This once-off treatment allows for long-term storage;
(e) As this is an alkaline feed it stabilises the rumen pH and reduces the risk of acidosis.
(a) Aim for moisture content of 16-18pc to minimise shattering during rolling;
(b) Barley is safer than wheat due to higher fibre content;
(c) Oats are almost a forgotten cereal and can replace all the 'pulps' in most diets.
(a) Generally used at between 18-24pc moisture;
(b) Presents a better 'roll';
(c) Becomes expensive at high moisture counts;
(d) Can be rolled and treated for storage or treated and rolled at a later date;
(e) Barley is more suitable for this process than wheat
There are a number of other processes such as Alkigrain, Toasted cereals and Ground Ear Maize that will come to the fore in the coming years.