Here you can find a collection of frequently-asked questions, grouped by category. Select category of FAQs from the list shown on the right.
Walk into the crop, away from headlands and tramlines. In cereals crops first look at the colour of the straw immediately below the ears of grain, it should have turned yellow/straw coloured in the majority of plants. Next, pick off grain from the middle of the ear, (with wheat and triticale remove the chaff to reveal the grain, which should be a pale gold colour) and squash it between your forefinger and thumb. It should flatten, but no ‘milk’ or clear liquid should be visible. When 70% of the crop is at this stage it should be harvested and processed.
Pulses (peas, beans and lupins) should have a moisture content of about 30%. When the plants have died back and the pods have lost most of their green colour and split fairly easily. The grain should be chewy rather than hard and crunchy, and when split will have lost the bright green colour inside. Peas will be pale greyish/green, beans and lupins pale yellow. Again, if 70% of the crop has reached this stage harvest and process as soon as possible.
Combine harvesting maize is unlikely to be possible before early October in the UK. The crop is ready when all the plants have died back and lost virtually all their green colour. When this stage is reached carry out the following tests:-
- Remove cobs from several parts of the field and strip them of all leaf and sheath.
- Grip a cob firmly in both hands and counter-rotate the hands backwards and forwards. A soft rattling sound should be heard. Repeat this test on several cobs.
- Next, break a cob in half and look for the ‘milk line’. This is the where the rich yellow of the grain on the outside changes to very pale yellow or white nearer the point where the grain attaches to the central spindle. The ‘milk line’ should be at least 2/3rds of the way in from the outside of the grain, and preferably should have disappeared altogether.
If in doubt consult your Kelvin Cave Ltd. representative or use our next day laboratory results service for more accurate DM values.
If you can make good grass silage you’ll have no trouble with crimped grain. Crimped grain can be stored in a conventional clamp or silo, or a special plastic tube bag filled by a Korte crimper/ bagger. ?Before harvesting prepare the clamp or bagging site. All areas that will come into contact with the grain should be thoroughly cleaned. Clamp walls should be lined with 1000 gauge silage sheeting. Sites for Korte bags should be clean, level and free from sharp stones etc. A clean water supply should be within easy reach of the crimper so that water can be added through the crimper to grain from parts of the crop that have got too dry. This will help to achieve good, consistent consolidation. ?1 tonne of crimped grain will occupy approximately 1 cubic metre. Crimp, adding Crimpstore at the recommended rate, and ensile within 24 hours of combining. Fill the clamp in thin layers using the Dorset Wedge method and rolling well to remove all air. If the top dries out during a break while filling, damp the dried surface with Crimpstore from a watering can fitted with a fine rose before adding fresh material. When all the grain has been processed and properly consolidated in the clamp, damp the surface again with Crimpstore and cover immediately with ClampFilmTM to ensure a completely airtight seal. With the ClampFilm™ in place, fold the side sheets over it and cover with a 500 gauge silage sheet. This should be well weighted down to exclude all air. Pay particular attention to the seal between the plastic and the concrete at the bottom of the ramp, loose sand or sand or gravel bags are the most effective weights at this point.
90 years ago scientists discovered that grain attains its highest nutrient level, DM yield and digestibility at this high moisture content. With conventional, dry harvesting nutrients, digestibility and yield have been lost.
Crimped grains are ideal concentrate feed for all classes of ruminant livestock from young calves and lambs to dairy cows, beef cattle and adult sheep. The inclusion of crimped grains in livestock rations can result in improved rumen stability, better feed conversion and superior animal performance when compared with feeding and processing dry grain. This leads to better economic performance in all classes of stock.