Tips for Spring Cereals

Cool season annual forages can be used in many applications for feed or grain. Prairie Creek Seed annuals are designed specifically for forage harvested and fed to livestock. From hooded barley to a forage-specific oat, you can be assured that the yield and quality will achieve the highest level. Here are some tips for Spring cereal success:

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Seeding Rate:

Optimum seeding rates can vary depend upon species planted, planting date and if the cereal is being used as a companion crop with alfalfa.

  • Oats at 70 to 90 pounds/acre.
  • Barley at 80 to 100 pounds/acre.
  • Triticale at 100 pounds/acre.

Adjustments to these rates need to be made as follows:

  • Seed at the lower end of the range for early planting and the higher end of the range for late planting (after mid-May).
  • If alfalfa is under-seeded, lower the seeding rates by 30 percent to reduce competition with the legume.
  • When using a cereal grain pea blend, the forage seeding rate needs to be increased by 20 percent.
  • Strive for early planting (as soil conditions allow). Late planting for a forage harvest does remain an option; however, yields from late planting will be more dependent on temperature and moisture conditions.

Forage Examples:

               EverLeaf 126 forage oat is a true spring oat that provides high-quality forage and a lot of it. EverLeaf 126 has leaves that extend above the canopy at heading. It is also a delayed heading oat, and much of its forage mass and quality come from its extended maturity.

           Forage triticale from PCS will be awnless or awnletted for palatability if the forage is delayed in harvest. Dry-matter yield will be close to high-yielding forage oats and fit into an operation with a high level of management. Best harvest timing will result in a very high-quality forage. Triticale works well as a companion forage with forage barley or forage oats.

Focus on Forage. (2003). University of Wisconsin.