Making The Most Of A Failed Winter Crop

Winter crops that fail due to drought, frost, poor pod set or low grain yield potential can be cut as silage or hay. With correct management, a failed grain crop can be salvaged as quality forage.

Key Points

  • Hay and silage can be made from failed crops as an alternative income source and is sometimes a profitable venture
  • The quality of canola and cereal hay and silage can vary enormously; quality testing is suggested before feeding to livestock
  • Before cutting, chemical withholding periods must have expired
  • Hay cut at late flowering and conditioned provides a reasonable balance between yield and feed quality
  • Markets for hay can be unstable
  • Hay and silage can be fed to all types of ruminant livestock as long as precautions are taken when introduced to their diet
  • Salvaging calculators can assist growers with failed crops

A failed canola crop may be salvaged as hay or silage, but good management is essential to produce a quality product

GRDC

For more information refer to this HAY AND SILAGE FACT SHEET.

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