Taking an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management


Integrated Pest & Crop Management



AUTHOR

Rob Kallenbach
University of Missouri
Division of Plant Sciences
(573) 884-2213
kallenbachr@missouri.edu

Forage of the Month: Small Grains

Rob Kallenbach
University of Missouri
(573) 884-2213
kallenbachr@missouri.edu

Published: March 23, 2012

The small grains, primarily wheat and rye, are used extensively in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas for winter pasture for stocker calves, but they can fit into pasture systems in Missouri as well. If planted around Sept. 1, wheat or rye will produce enough forage for an initial grazing by late November under normal conditions. Wheat and rye continue to grow through the winter, although they grow slowly during cold spells. Rye genera l ly produces 30 to 60 percent more forage than wheat. In a vegetative state, small grain pasture is often more than 20 percent crude protein and 23 to 28 percent acid detergent fiber. Wheat and rye remain in a vegetative state until mid- to late March; as a result, forage quality is fairly constant from November through late February. Rye matures three to four weeks earlier than wheat and thus is hard to manage for high-quality feed after March. In addition, small grain pasture is susceptible to trampling damage under muddy conditions.

small_grains
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