Oats, barley and triticale can be swath grazed or harvested for greenfeed or grain, and generally provide better-quality forage than perennial grass hay. Maintaining spring cereal pasture for late-season use; however, is difficult because they produce most of their forage eight to 10 weeks after seeding and don’t re-grow well after being grazed.
- Oats are a high-yielding annual forage, particularly in the black and grey-wood soil zone.
- Graze when oats reach 10 inches (25 cm).
- Not as good overall quality as barley for silage.
- Staggering the spring seeding date will spread out pasture production.
- Useful for swath grazing or as silage or greenfeed.
- Should be harvested at the late milk stage for silage and greenfeed.
- Forage oat varieties include: CDC Haymaker, CDC Baler, and Murphy.
- Barley is suitable for swath grazing, greenfeed, or silage in all soil zones of the province.
- Preferred cereal for swath grazing and silage.
- Produces the best combination of yield and quality for silage of any of the cereals.
- Smooth-awned varieties are recommended.
- Graze when barley reaches 10 inches (25 cm).
- Cut in the early dough stage for greenfeed or silage.
- Does not have as much potential for regrowth as oats.
- Forage varieties available include: AB Advantage, AB Cattlelac, AC Ranger, CDC Cowboy, and CDC Maverick.
- Triticale can produce similar forage yields to oats on black soils.
- More tolerant of dry conditions than oats.
- Graze when triticale reaches 10 inches (25 cm).
- Cut in the soft dough stage for greenfeed and silage.
- Lodging is not usually a problem.
- Palatability may be lower than oats or barley, especially if cut late for harvest.
- Rough awns similar to barley.
- Triticale is later-maturing than oats or barley.
- Triticale will not tiller or re-grow as well as oats after cutting.
- Varieties available include: AAC Delight, Bunker, Tyndal, and Taza.
- Wheat is suited to all soil zones of the province.
- Some wheat varieties can produce as much dry matter as oats or barley.
- Quality for silage or greenfeed is generally lower than barley.
- Harvest wheat in the soft-dough stage for greenfeed or silage.
- Regrowth after cutting or grazing is not as good as oats.