Cattlemen's Day, 1996; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 96-334-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 756; Beef; Winter cereals; Silage; Winter cereal variety; Winter cereal maturity; Winter cereal yield


Agronomic and silage quality traits were examined for 12 winter cereals harvested at two stages of maturity. Forage dry matter (DM) yields were higher at the mid-dough than the early-heading stage. Post 90 barley had the highest whole-plant DM yield at the early-heading stage, and Presto triticale had the highest yield at the mid-dough stage. Newton wheat had the lowest whole-plant DM yield at both stages of maturity. The first cutting of all varieties originally was intended to be at the late-boot stage, but harvest was delayed by frequent rainfall and wet soils in May, and field-wilting conditions were less than ideal. The range in heads emerge d was 23 to 87%, and the range in the silage DM content at early-heading stage was 19.2 to 46.4%. Both crude protein (CP) and ash contents were higher for the early-heading cereals than the mid-dough. All 24 silages were of relatively low forage quality, as evidenced by high neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) percentages. Only five silages, the early-heading stage Tomahawk wheat; mid-dough stage Presto triticale; and the mid-dough stage Kanby, Post, and Post 90 barleys, had less than 60% NDF and 40% ADF. Extensive lodging occurred in virtually all cereals before the mid-dough stage harvest.


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