View Poster Application

Winter annual cereal grain forage yield and quality across multiple species and harvest dates

Applied Research

Jason Hartschuh
ANR Educator
The Ohio State University Extension


In order to boost per-acre profitability, many ruminant livestock producers in Ohio are turning to annual forage feeds for their livestock. By utilizing annual forages, cash grain crops and forages can be produced on the same acres each year. To aid producers with selecting winter annual forage species for their operation we compared cereal rye, triticale, barley, and wheat. Each species was harvested when the head was in the boot stage- Feekes 10.0, and again when it had fully emerged in pollination- Feekes 10.5. The two harvest dates help producers select the best species for their operation even as it matures and quality changes at different rates. This trial was conducted over two years in three locations across Ohio to capture the large climate variation in the state.

Forage species and harvest date treatments had significantly different impacts on yield and quality factors. The location also had a significant effect. Triticale had the greatest yield increase from Feekes 10 to Feekes 10.5 of 0.93 tons dry matter per acre while barley increased the least only gaining 0.36 tons of dry matter per acre. Cereal rye had the greatest yield at Feekes 10.0 but was out-yielded by triticale at Feekes 10.5. All species had lower crude protein values as they mature from Feekes 10.0 to Feekes 10.5. Barley had the greatest crude protein at all harvest dates with Feekes 10.5 having higher crude protein than all other species at Feekes 10.0. NDF increased in all species from Feekes 10.0 to Feekes 10.5. Advancement through forage maturity leads to a reduction in TDN for all species.

This information will help Ohio farmers determine the best winter annual cereal grain to plant as forage for their livestock needs. Understanding how forage quality changes over time allows farmers to match forage harvest timing to their harvest management abilities. 

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: Jason Hartschuh, Allen Gahler, Garth Ruff, Christine Gelley, Mike Gastier
  1. Hartschuh, J. Field Specialist, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, The Ohio State University , Ohio, 43420
  2. Gahler, A. Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Ohio, 43420
  3. Ruff, G. Field Specialist, Beef Cattle, The Ohio State University , Ohio, 43724
  4. Gelley, C. Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Ohio, 43724
  5. Gastier, M. Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Ohio, 44857