FAQs: Forage

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Crimped feed can be used as part of the diet for pigs and poultry and can result in considerable feed cost reductions; contact us for more details. Horses requiring cereal as part of their diet will do well on crimped grain.

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.

Feeding moist, crimped grain results in a more gradual and efficient use of energy in the rumen, reducing the risk of acidosis. This allows higher levels of home grown cereals to be fed. It’s quite common to feed 7-10kg of crimped cereals in dairy diets and even more in beef diets.
CrimpSafe 300-treated grain is ready to feed 3-4 weeks after ensiling. Make sure that you maintain a clean cut face, and aim to move across the face every 5-7 days.
Feeding home grown crimped cereals is a simple and economic method of stock rearing. There is no winter rolling or processing (less work in the winter) and haulage costs are minimal. In the long term the improved nutrition from your own resources will give a more economic, dust-free and healthy diet – leading to healthier animals.

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