As livestock producers, if you’re looking to double your forage or silage production this growing season, consider planting cool-season forages this spring. By planting cool-season forages like oats, barley, triticale or forage peas, you can harvest your hay or silage by the first part of July and still have time to plant a warm-season forage in the same acres, doubling your production per acre.
Dry Hay Options
Oats and forage barley are the two most favorable options if you need to bale up dry hay. One of the best forage oats available is a release from SDSU called Goliath. They are tall, late-maturing oats that have proven to yield well. Forage barley will be the quickest maturing in the spring and produce palatable and high-quality hay.
If you need to re-fill the bunker before corn silage is ready, Everleaf Oats or Triticale may be an option. Everleaf Oats are excellent quality, leafy and best suited for good soil and ample moisture. Triticale can be just as high yielding but will perform best on higher soiled and low rainfall areas.
If you know you want a high protein forage, take any of the cereals and add it to forage peas. This will increase crude protein levels by 2-4%. Pea mixes can be put up as dry hay, but due to the extra time for curing, the recommended harvest methad as silage or baleage to maintain the highest harvest quality.
Whether harvesting as dry hay or chopping, planting cool-season forages are an option for you to get the most out of your acres, while maintaining high quality forage.