Homegrown cereals — such as barley, sorghum, triticale and wheat — can play a big part in reducing overall feed costs and improving profit margins. Moist, crimped cereals can be harvested earlier and passed through a special crimping machine that cracks the grain to expose the starch. The early harvesting window of crimped cereals maximizes dry matter (DM) yield and allows a following crop to be established sooner. Crimped cereal also reduces the costs of drying grain.
The high-starch and low-acid levels of crimped cereal results in good feeding values and makes it an ideal complement to feeding grass silage or haylage. Crimped cereal can also be a good source of digestible fiber.
Maturity and Dry Matter
Moist-crimped cereals can be harvested earlier — around 25 to 40% moisture — and processed by the crimping machine.
|Harvest Options||Crop DM %||Crop Color||Stem Color||Ear Color||Grain Texture|
|Fermented high DM milled wholecrop /|
start of crimping
|50-60||Yellow||Mainly yellow, trace of green at the node||Yellow||Hard cheddar, thumbnail impression held|
|Fermented high DM milled wholecrop / crimping||60-70||Yellow/gold||Mainly yellow, trace of green at the node||Yellow/gold with some ears turned down||Very hard cheddar, grain pierced with thumbnail|
|Crimping / end of fermented high DM / milled wholecrop||70-80||Yellow/brown||Yellow||Gold, turned down||Hard, some grain, pierced with thumbnail, others impossible|
Due to the high DM and starch content of crimped grain, aerobic instability caused by yeasts and molds can affect feedout quality. New inoculant technology has played a big part in successfully ensiling this challenging crop.