2022 Eastern Nebraska Soil Health Conference Presentations - Mary Drewnoski
Using Winter Hardy Small Cereals for Grazing and Silage - Mary Drewnoski, Beef Systems Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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- [00:00:08.230]All right. So how many of you
guys have cattle? All right.
- [00:00:12.850]About half of the room has cattle. That
makes me feel a little bit better now.
- [00:00:17.050]so I I'm in one of those positions,
- [00:00:20.950]where about half the time I talked to
crop producers about half the time I
- [00:00:24.340]talked to cattlemen,
- [00:00:26.470]today a lot of my discussion
is really about the use
- [00:00:31.450]of these winter Hardy, cover
crops as a forage resource.
- [00:00:35.920]And my thought process was you guys
came to a cover crop soil health
- [00:00:41.830]I don't have to convince you that adding
a cover crop into your rotation can be
- [00:00:46.030]a benefit.
- [00:00:47.500]my goal here was really to think about
what are the possibilities to get some
- [00:00:51.790]short term economic impact
of using those cover crops.
- [00:00:56.140]And forage is a great way to do that.
- [00:00:58.090]And a lot of the times we see that in
situations where we use cover crops as
- [00:01:02.590]forage, we can get the economic benefits
without negatively affecting,
- [00:01:07.270]the soil health. And in
- [00:01:10.780]the grazing component sometimes can
even be a positive from the increase in
- [00:01:15.580]the microbial biomass. We can see
in the soil and nutrient cycling.
- [00:01:20.020]Now on the flip side, if we don't
have enough carbon in the system,
- [00:01:24.070]there's also some negatives, from
the standpoint of having enough residue.
- [00:01:28.060]And so it's all a balancing act,
right? There's no silver bullet.
- [00:01:31.720]So today we're going to talk about using
these winter Hardy small cereals for
- [00:01:35.830]grazing briefly. And then I'm going
to talk a little bit about, um,
- [00:01:39.760]making silage, because that's
been something that's been
more and more interest,
- [00:01:44.080]especially for people who don't have
cattle, but maybe your neighbor does.
- [00:01:48.520]And, I don't know how many
times I get a call and it's like,
- [00:01:52.600]what's the value? how
much should I charge? Right.
- [00:01:56.440]My neighbors interested.
- [00:01:57.610]They see that green stuff over there and
they think they want to use it. Right.
- [00:02:00.970]So we're going to talk a little
bit about some of those ideas.
- [00:02:06.080]let me see. I should turn this
on. It's a good first start.
- [00:02:10.750]Okay. So winter Hardy smell cereals.
What are we talking about? Well,
- [00:02:14.290]the number one right is cereal
rye. Everybody knows cereal rye,
- [00:02:17.650]a winter wheat and winter treated Kaley
are two other options that we'll talk
- [00:02:21.040]about today. I do want
to point out though,
- [00:02:23.590]before I go any further that I'm
talking very general here about
- [00:02:28.450]these species, and there is a lot of
differences in varieties among species.
- [00:02:33.100]And in fact, this picture I have
is just one illustration of that.
- [00:02:36.490]So this picture is
actually from fall city,
- [00:02:42.160]and they planted L Bon and
the VNS rye side by side,
- [00:02:46.390]same time. And this is what
it looked like in the spring.
- [00:02:49.540]Now it was really early planted.
So the yield was really good,
- [00:02:53.050]cause this was on the prevent plant acres.
- [00:02:55.600]But the point here is that there's a lot
of differences in varieties and this L
- [00:03:00.370]bond rises Southern Ry,
- [00:03:02.530]tends to come out of dorm C earlier
and thus it matures a little bit more
- [00:03:05.530]quickly. BNS can be anything, right?
- [00:03:10.270]There's a variety of unstated.
- [00:03:11.770]We do tend to get a lot
more neuro Northern rise in
Nebraska that are VNS rye.
- [00:03:16.270]So that's kind of what you're
seeing is that difference here. Um,
- [00:03:20.200]so great thing about the Southern
rise. It comes out of dormancy earlier.
- [00:03:23.500]We get a little bit
more growth earlier.
- [00:03:26.380]the further north you get the little bit
more concerned I get about, you know,
- [00:03:29.530]winter hardiness and in truth,
- [00:03:32.140]I've not seen too many problems
anywhere in Nebraska with El Bon.
- [00:03:35.980]So that's kind of cool.
Okay. So what about grazing?
- [00:03:39.820]The first thing I always hear when I
talk about grazing rye is that it's
- [00:03:44.560]low quality.
- [00:03:47.080]Is anybody ever experienced
low quality rye?
- [00:03:52.210]No. Randy has.
- [00:03:57.400]Yeah. When it's this tall. Exactly.
- [00:03:59.680]So the first thing I
want to point out is that
- [00:04:04.270]really, when we think about any
forage resource maturity matters,
- [00:04:09.160]right, I can make it low quality
if I let it get ahead of me. Um,
- [00:04:13.420]so this is actually the very first
experiment I ever did grazing on
- [00:04:18.490]We were actually looking at the impacts
of adding rye and grazing it versus not
- [00:04:23.440]grazing it on souls.
- [00:04:26.200]and indeed what we saw is
we had 700 pound calves.
- [00:04:30.250]We came off corn stocks,
- [00:04:31.900]we put them onto the ride
in the first week in April.
- [00:04:36.550]We grazed them till the first week
in may and then pulled them off.
- [00:04:39.850]So we could plant corn and
we got 3.2 pound a day game,
- [00:04:44.770]and I thought, wow, that's amazing.
I'd heard people tell me that before.
- [00:04:48.460]And I thought, nah, that's not true.
I think that must be Phil, right?
- [00:04:53.440]Because they have this big room.
And if you don't account for fill,
- [00:04:58.540]right, if they're empty going on,
you weigh him and they come off full.
- [00:05:02.530]Most of that gain can be just how
much their gut has in it. Right.
- [00:05:06.880]But in this case, we do control for Phil.
- [00:05:09.490]We actually limit feed at
the beginning at the end. Um,
- [00:05:12.160]so we have a procedure for that.
We do three day weights. Um,
- [00:05:16.360]we do all kinds of things to eliminate
this fill factor and I thought, wow,
- [00:05:20.590]that's cool.
- [00:05:21.850]A couple of things I learned along
the way was we did a two rotation
- [00:05:26.590]system where the calves would have
access to where we would have them in
- [00:05:31.480]one field and then we move them over to
another field and then we just move them
- [00:05:35.440]back and forth so that we could
try to keep the forage vegetative.
- [00:05:40.420]So keep it short. And I don't know if
you look at any extension publication,
- [00:05:44.290]they'll say start grazing when
it's eight inches too late
- [00:05:49.480]eight inches is too late.
- [00:05:51.940]we pretty much shoot for five is
our target on date five inches.
- [00:05:57.080]And then my goal is to keep
it between eight and two. Um,
- [00:06:02.090]this had three calves,
an acre on it. So,
- [00:06:06.110]basically equivalent to a cow and a half.
- [00:06:08.180]If you are wanting to put cows out
there, this is great feed right now.
- [00:06:13.010]One of the things that I
also noticed is that,
- [00:06:17.120]despite the fact that we were
trying to keep it between eight and
- [00:06:21.920]two, sometimes we get ahead
of it. If we get a cold snap,
- [00:06:26.330]for instance, right. And if we have a
place for them to go, that'd be ideal.
- [00:06:30.680]Now this was research and we didn't
want to pull them off and have to try to
- [00:06:33.470]weigh him and then put them
back on and all those things.
- [00:06:36.110]So we actually pushed them a
little hard. If they got ahead,
- [00:06:39.080]they didn't have as much eat. And yet
we could still get that kind of game.
- [00:06:42.920]As long as we didn't get too far below
two inches, we were doing pretty good.
- [00:06:48.020]so this is the next trial that we
did. Everybody started asking, well,
- [00:06:52.880]what should I plant if I want to gray?
Should I print wheat 2d CALEA? Right.
- [00:06:58.340]so we just kind of side by side,
tested wheat triticale and rye.
- [00:07:03.290]And this was the first year,
same kind of system. In this case,
- [00:07:07.730]we had about three calves and acre.
They were about 700 pound calves.
- [00:07:11.780]We did shoot for that five inch start
time. So rye was a week earlier.
- [00:07:15.710]We put out on rye a week
earlier, then we did,
- [00:07:19.940]the Trudy Kayleen wheat. However,
- [00:07:22.700]one thing to note about our rye is that
where we randomly assigned the rye,
- [00:07:27.530]we had a couple low spots in the
field that had gotten flooded.
- [00:07:32.630]And so we ended up having to pull them
off a little bit earlier, which,
- [00:07:35.900]that's why the grazing days were the
same in that particular trial. Again,
- [00:07:38.690]we were shooting for pulling them off
and putting, soybeans. In this case,
- [00:07:43.160]in that system,
- [00:07:43.940]we are looking at the impacts of
grazing on soybeans and soil hill.
- [00:07:48.590]but look at those gains,
a couple things to note.
- [00:07:51.740]One was they came off of stocks. They
were gaining about a pound a day before.
- [00:07:55.850]Some of that is comp a story
gain probably about 25%,
- [00:07:59.390]but still really great gains.
No difference among the species,
- [00:08:02.240]as long as you keep it vegetative,
as long as you keep it short,
- [00:08:07.010]it's going to be high quality feed.
- [00:08:08.480]Now you can let it get ahead of you
or you can let it get behind you.
- [00:08:13.250]And this was a, the next year
and we got ahead of the treaty,
- [00:08:16.910]Kaylee and the wheat a little bit.
what happened was we went out,
- [00:08:21.660]we looked, we got five
inches and we were like, Hey,
- [00:08:24.410]the Trudy Kayleen wheat is actually five
inches about the same time as the rice.
- [00:08:29.120]So we put them all out at the
same time. And unfortunately,
- [00:08:32.690]then we got a little bit of a cold spell
and the triticale and we didn't hold up
- [00:08:36.320]quite as well. so this is not,
- [00:08:39.620]this difference is really intake
was limited on these guys.
- [00:08:43.520]so that's just a little bit of
the story here. That for me,
- [00:08:47.450]if I'm looking for really early grazing,
right. Looks pretty good, right.
- [00:08:52.160]if I want to go later into the
season, that might change a little bit,
- [00:08:55.950]but in this case we were shooting
for within a cropping system.
- [00:08:59.550]So we're going to get off
15th of May as latest.
- [00:09:05.520]this is kind of what it looks like.
- [00:09:07.440]This was after a grazing and this was
about the time we were going to put them
- [00:09:10.890]back. So it does not, it doesn't look
like a lot of forage out there. Right?
- [00:09:14.310]And I think that's something that
you got to kind of get in your head.
- [00:09:16.860]Cause it's very different. Like for me,
- [00:09:19.110]people who are really good
managing these annuals,
- [00:09:24.600]have a different mindset than
managing perennials because perennials,
- [00:09:29.220]you know, you're thinking about,
- [00:09:30.330]I need to make sure that I have
enough root storage and you know,
- [00:09:34.440]slow to recover. Angels are
amazingly fast to recover.
- [00:09:38.040]They're not shooting for
root storage, right? Their,
- [00:09:40.570]our whole goal in life is to
reproduce, put out seed heads.
- [00:09:44.850]So they go very quickly to try to do that.
- [00:09:48.330]So your job is to stay up with
it if you want maintain high
- [00:09:53.280]quality. And so to me, this
was a big change in my mindset,
- [00:09:57.090]as I experienced grazing with annuals
is that most of the time it's because I
- [00:10:01.590]let it get away that I
started having problems. Okay.
- [00:10:04.950]So the next thing I want to talk
about briefly is using these
- [00:10:09.930]winter Hardy small cereals for
silence. And I have a picture up here.
- [00:10:14.070]This is Abigail Sargent. She's
one of my master's students.
- [00:10:17.760]Who's been working on this
particular project and I'll tell you
- [00:10:23.040]it's a lot of work. So
it takes a big team. Um,
- [00:10:27.420]and there's a lot of students
that are involved in this,
- [00:10:29.640]but the questions that we were trying
to answer is what should I plant? Right.
- [00:10:33.570]So what species, and then when
should I harvest it? Right? So,
- [00:10:38.820]before we get into the results, got
to make sure we're all on the same page.
- [00:10:42.360]So to start off, I kind of wanted to get
everybody on the same page about,
- [00:10:46.290]stages and harvest timing.
- [00:10:48.510]And so the first one I wanted
to show you is boot stage.
- [00:10:51.330]And basically if you can see right
here, this is where the seed head is.
- [00:10:54.060]This is the flag leaf of the top leaf.
- [00:10:56.070]And you can kind of see these little
bulges and there's a bulge here.
- [00:10:59.670]That's where the head is. It
hasn't quite come out yet.
- [00:11:03.150]It's right below the flag leaf.
that's the boot stage.
- [00:11:07.320]And so that's what I'm gonna talk
about when I talk about boot. Um,
- [00:11:09.990]so you can't see any seed heads
yet, but they're almost, and within,
- [00:11:14.700]seven days, they'll actually,
actually you usually within three days,
- [00:11:18.660]there'll be out. Um,
- [00:11:20.160]so for most of the time for our
planting in mid October,
- [00:11:24.810]too late, October,
- [00:11:27.240]that's going to be mid to late
may depending on the year.
- [00:11:31.920]pollinations the next
one I'm gonna talk about.
- [00:11:34.260]So all the heads are out
and then you see,
- [00:11:37.620]some people call it the dusting or you
just see the yellow that's out there.
- [00:11:42.120]and they've put out the
POL. And so that's pollination.
- [00:11:45.660]So that's what I'm talking about in
between boot and pollination is usually
- [00:11:50.280]10 to 12 days. Um,
- [00:11:52.800]it's of the timeframe
in between those two.
- [00:11:56.350]And then the last two I want to
talk about is milk and soft dough.
- [00:12:00.160]So milk stage is you go to that head,
- [00:12:03.910]you take the seed out
and if you squeeze it,
- [00:12:06.310]a Milky white substance will come out.
Right? So it hasn't solidified yet. Um,
- [00:12:10.480]so that's milk in early. June's
kind of typical timeframe for that.
- [00:12:14.530]And usually like the first week in
June and then soft dough would be,
- [00:12:19.060]it's got a little bit further along.
You can still squeeze it out the dough,
- [00:12:22.810]but it's more like dough
now instead of Milky. Um,
- [00:12:26.770]and it's usually is still, as you can
kind of see, it's still green. Um,
- [00:12:30.340]this picture is, this is icon.
- [00:12:32.690]I call that almost ready to start
hard dough. That makes sense.
- [00:12:36.400]So a lot of times soft dough
is mid to late June,
- [00:12:41.320]depending on the year and the species.
Okay. So that I won't have the,
- [00:12:44.740]in your mind when we're
talking about stages.
- [00:12:47.620]So the first thing is a
comparison of the three species.
- [00:12:51.550]So we treat a CALEA and rye and,
- [00:12:55.330]this is tons of dry matter per acre.
- [00:12:57.880]I know most of you guys
are gonna think as fed,
- [00:12:59.680]like how much can I get out of the field?
- [00:13:01.720]The challenge with that is that's going
to be highly variable depending on your
- [00:13:06.190]dry matter management, which
we'll talk about a little bit,
- [00:13:08.980]but one of the key things I wanted to
show you is that really the only thing
- [00:13:13.600]that really stuck out
to me is that for us,
- [00:13:16.450]the wheat didn't really seem to hold
up as well. This was pronghorn wheat,
- [00:13:21.100]especially at soft dough.
- [00:13:23.290]And one of the things that we noticed
about the wheat was when we started
- [00:13:27.040]getting towards soft dough, we had
a lot of senescence of the leaves.
- [00:13:30.760]So underneath, we didn't
have as much leaf material left.
- [00:13:35.530]Like there was a lot of
brown leaf material, which
was kind of interesting.
- [00:13:40.030]but between Trudy Kaley and rye, we
really didn't see huge differences.
- [00:13:44.560]Maybe the tree to Kaylee
you'll have a little bit more,
- [00:13:46.660]which is what we would have expected.
- [00:13:48.520]If you would ask me what
I would have expected,
- [00:13:50.620]I would have said Trudy Kaylee
without yield the two. Um,
- [00:13:54.640]but there's not as big differences
as I kind of assumed there would be,
- [00:13:57.970]which is kind of intriguing to me. Okay.
- [00:14:01.450]So what about the nutrient
content? Well, this,
- [00:14:05.740]again, not huge differences
among the species, if anything,
- [00:14:10.600]tricky, Kaley kind of fell
out a little bit lower,
- [00:14:12.550]which is totally not what
I would have hypothesized.
- [00:14:15.640]I would have thought treaty Kaylee would
have been right up there if not higher
- [00:14:19.840]than the Ry. one thing
I will point out though,
- [00:14:22.630]remember your yield was a little bit
higher. Staging is not an exact science.
- [00:14:27.460]We did go through collect plants and
actually stage individual plants.
- [00:14:31.900]And I have the percentages and
all those things on average,
- [00:14:35.350]I would say we might've been a little
bit later on the trip to Kaylee and that
- [00:14:39.610]might explain a little bit why we see
a little bit lower energy content,
- [00:14:43.660]a little bit higher yield.
- [00:14:45.070]So the story here is we
don't see huge differences,
- [00:14:48.760]which is not all that unexpected,
- [00:14:51.410]but I think one of the things
that I really wanted to show you
- [00:14:56.480]is about the combination of the two.
- [00:14:58.880]So before we get there looking
at crude protein content,
- [00:15:03.980]as you would expect, crude
protein content decreased,
- [00:15:06.980]as we went to later stages,
- [00:15:08.750]basically those plants have
taken up a lot of nitrogen, um,
- [00:15:12.200]in that early spring.
- [00:15:13.280]And then they start using it and they
grow and they're just diluting it more if
- [00:15:17.330]that kinda makes sense. Right? So, um,
- [00:15:19.670]actually you'll see on
our crude protein yields,
- [00:15:22.370]they kind of hold steady per acre.
- [00:15:24.410]And it's just the distribution changes
because they put on more, dry matter.
- [00:15:29.480]on average,
- [00:15:30.800]the rice actually had higher crude
protein than the wheat in the
- [00:15:35.510]Tredegar Kaylee at the early
stages. At the later stages,
- [00:15:39.320]there wasn't as much
of a difference, again,
- [00:15:43.460]not what I would have anticipated.
- [00:15:46.880]So one of the things for me then
is it wasn't huge diff differences
- [00:15:51.860]in yield. There's not huge differences
in quality. If anything,
- [00:15:56.360]the treaty Kaylee maybe yield a little
more, had a little bit lower quality.
- [00:15:59.360]The rye, had a little bit
lower yield and a little bit,
- [00:16:03.440]greater quality, but let's look at tying
cause that's the other question, right,
- [00:16:08.030]is if I can get it off sooner, then
I can put in another crop, right? So,
- [00:16:13.430]over the two years we did get some
differences in results. The first year,
- [00:16:17.660]really Ryan Trudy,
- [00:16:18.590]Kaylee were almost identical in
terms of when we harvested and the
- [00:16:23.330]wheat was a little bit behind initially,
- [00:16:25.580]and then it sped up and
got a little bit ahead,
- [00:16:29.830]couple things to note, is that
going from stage to stage here,
- [00:16:33.770]you have seven, 10 days, like,
- [00:16:38.990]you blink and it's changed, right?
- [00:16:42.470]So if you looked at the
change in quality,
- [00:16:45.050]stage matters and you can miss
a stage very, very quickly.
- [00:16:49.460]So I always say whatever stage you're
shooting for when it gets to the stage
- [00:16:53.180]right before it, that's the
time to get geared up and go.
- [00:16:56.480]Cause you're probably going to hit the
stage. You're actually looking for.
- [00:16:59.750]If we look at year two, then
we'd see more of what I expected,
- [00:17:04.340]which is the rye was a little bit ahead
of the wheat and triticale.
- [00:17:08.900]it was about a week earlier,
at the boot and the pollination.
- [00:17:13.070]And then they kind of started to
get closer together. On average,
- [00:17:17.630]the ride was a little bit
ahead of everything else.
- [00:17:19.730]That's what I would have
hypothesized to happen,
- [00:17:22.490]differences in weather
between the two years.
- [00:17:24.440]And then also we had a difference in
ride variety between these two years.
- [00:17:28.640]we couldn't get the same ride variety.
- [00:17:31.640]This one actually was a forage rye.
- [00:17:34.790]Like it wasn't a hybrid rye and I can't
remember the name now I'll have to look
- [00:17:38.420]it up. but I actually expected if
anything, that would have been flipped,
- [00:17:43.160]but again, I get wrong
all the time. So,
- [00:17:48.500]it's how we learn, right? So we
do the experiments, but on average,
- [00:17:51.960]I would say, the big thing to,
to pull away from this is right,
- [00:17:56.250]is not low quality.
- [00:17:57.540]It can be as good as the others and
at least from our grazing experiments,
- [00:18:02.250]it's usually ready about a week
earlier. And in some cases, baby,
- [00:18:06.120]a little bit earlier,
- [00:18:07.800]in the timing for silent harvest.
- [00:18:12.540]So the conclusions planting rye or
Trudy Kaylee will result in the best
- [00:18:17.250]nutrient yields per acre.
- [00:18:19.800]So in one Trudy to a little bit lower
quality, a little bit higher yield.
- [00:18:23.190]And the other one, the ride was
a little bit higher quality,
- [00:18:25.140]a little bit lower yield now,
- [00:18:30.000]what's the cost difference.
Anybody got an idea,
- [00:18:35.850]cheaper rice cheaper. Yeah. In
general rice cheaper than to Kaylee.
- [00:18:40.350]It's not a huge difference,
on a per pound of seed,
- [00:18:44.610]but once you start multiplying it up
per acre, it can make a difference. So,
- [00:18:49.680]that was a little bit
interesting to me. Okay.
- [00:18:53.700]So now I just took all that data and put
it together to make a few things about
- [00:18:58.530]harvest timing. So I've got two
axes on here just to confuse you.
- [00:19:04.530]So the first one here is
TDN, which is this red line.
- [00:19:08.490]So this is the change in
TDN over, the stages.
- [00:19:13.200]And so you notice that it declines
from the early boot stage, to milk.
- [00:19:18.180]And then we get a little bump.
Anybody know why we get that bump?
- [00:19:24.630]Yeah. Right. We S we get some seed
in there. So we actually get started.
- [00:19:28.410]So we've lost all the,
really the, the,
- [00:19:31.560]digestibility of the fiber
component of the forage.
- [00:19:34.830]But then we get a little bump
because we get some starch formation.
- [00:19:39.660]so if we look at it, there's not
a huge drop from boot to pollination.
- [00:19:44.430]And then we lose a lot going
from pollination to milk.
- [00:19:48.510]If we look at crude protein,
- [00:19:50.670]we see this a straight decline,
right. All the way down.
- [00:19:55.050]And that's just because we're diluting
out the nitrogen that's there.
- [00:19:58.440]And that kind of makes sense to
me as well. But look, we're very,
- [00:20:01.290]very high protein here.
That's alfalfa, right? 17,
- [00:20:05.670]18% crude protein that's alfalfa, um,
- [00:20:10.170]down to 10% crude protein,
which is medium quality grass.
- [00:20:15.690]So if you think about it kinda like that,
depending on what your target is,
- [00:20:20.280]that might make a difference.
- [00:20:21.420]I know a couple of years ago
stillers was hard to get ahold of.
- [00:20:25.770]And I had some producers who were timing
their harvest of these small cereals to
- [00:20:30.750]actually target a higher
crude protein content,
- [00:20:33.330]so they could add
protein into their diets.
- [00:20:36.270]So they were using it
as a protein supplement.
- [00:20:38.460]So they harvest early and
that was kind of their goal.
- [00:20:43.410]Okay. So what about
nutrient yield per acre?
- [00:20:45.810]So we got the concentration and we think
about that from the feed perspective,
- [00:20:50.680]but then we also have to think about,
- [00:20:52.330]we have these costs they're on a per acre
basis and we're distributing them over
- [00:20:56.440]those acres. What if we
look at the yield of TD in,
- [00:20:59.830]so that's that red line again. And
we see, as you expect dry matter,
- [00:21:03.160]yield increased,
- [00:21:04.840]and it increased at such a rate
that it overcome the drop in TDN
- [00:21:10.300]if that makes sense to everybody.
so in this case, you remember on yields,
- [00:21:15.160]we were about three to four ton
of dry matter per acre at boop.
- [00:21:20.230]And we basically get to about
10, a ton, an acre of dry matter.
- [00:21:25.390]Anybody heard 10 ton,
an acre, a dry matter.
- [00:21:27.250]Does anybody know what that
looks like? That's a lot,
- [00:21:33.880]like some corn silage that I have
seen harvested it's we can get a
- [00:21:38.620]lot of yield out of
these guys at soft dough.
- [00:21:42.790]So depending on what
you're trying to target,
- [00:21:45.130]is it balanced between
quality and yield, right?
- [00:21:48.100]You're going to select
the timing. So for me,
- [00:21:51.430]if I'm looking for kind
of higher quality forage,
- [00:21:54.460]and I'm trying to balance that with the
yield pollination actually seems to look
- [00:21:58.630]pretty good. So most of the time, if
you look in the extension literature,
- [00:22:01.930]they'll talk about, look for high
quality shoot for boot. That's true.
- [00:22:07.360]And if I'm a dairy producer,
I'm going to shoot for boot.
- [00:22:10.660]But I think for most of what
we need in terms of beef, cows,
- [00:22:15.010]feed feedlots, growing cattle, I think
pollination actually works fairly well.
- [00:22:19.450]And we get a substantial boost in
yield by delaying a little bit,
- [00:22:25.180]if I'm shooting for just
maximum TD in yield per acre.
- [00:22:29.710]So especially like a feedlot
soft dough makes a lot of sense.
- [00:22:35.410]All right. So one other thing that
I really wanted to mention here,
- [00:22:39.730]when we talk about harvesting,
- [00:22:42.100]these guys for Silas is moisture.
- [00:22:46.030]Moisture management is a huge issue.
- [00:22:49.130]I think people don't recognize how
wet that material is out in the
- [00:22:54.130]field. so on average,
- [00:22:57.280]we really want to shoot for
65 to 70% moisture or 30 to
- [00:23:01.960]35% dry matter.
- [00:23:03.340]However you want to think about it is
what you're actually putting into the
- [00:23:06.850]silo. If we go out and
direct cut at these stages,
- [00:23:11.320]these are the moisture
contents that we got.
- [00:23:13.570]And so you can see we're way too wet
at boot and pollination to be able to
- [00:23:18.220]direct cut. You need to wilt.
- [00:23:21.220]You need to wilt at milk,
depending on the year,
- [00:23:25.180]I have seen it hit just
fine. Could a dry cut it.
- [00:23:28.720]And I've seen years where I needed to
wilt it. So that one, I think you need to,
- [00:23:32.710]you need to test to see where
you're at and it soft dough.
- [00:23:36.580]We can go the other way. Um,
- [00:23:38.710]I have seen some people who are
sitting and it was a little too wet,
- [00:23:41.260]especially if they harvest it
in the morning and do still on.
- [00:23:44.080]So if you want to direct cut that's
another consideration is let it dry out
- [00:23:48.200]some, unless you get late,
which is the other problem,
- [00:23:53.120]right? Cause it gets too mature. I just
told you to go for the stage ahead.
- [00:23:57.260]So if you're shooting for soft dough
and you actually geared up at milk,
- [00:24:01.340]all right, then hopefully
you hit soft dough,
- [00:24:03.710]but if you shoot for soft dough
and you start at soft dough,
- [00:24:06.350]you might be hitting it at Pardot,
which is going to be too dry.
- [00:24:10.820]So the problem is how many
of you guys have a chopper?
- [00:24:15.980]Not a single hand in the room, right?
- [00:24:19.760]so anybody who's going to do this,
- [00:24:22.010]the majority of them are going to hire
a harp, a custom harvester. Right.
- [00:24:27.560]And so communication's going to
be, a challenge number one.
- [00:24:32.510]So again,
- [00:24:33.110]staying on top of it and thinking really
way far ahead makes a lot of sense.
- [00:24:38.090]the other thing is looking
about what kind of opportunities,
- [00:24:42.680]they have in terms of demand, right?
- [00:24:45.770]So if you're in an area has
got a lot of dairies, you know,
- [00:24:48.110]they're going to be shooting for boot.
- [00:24:49.670]You're probably not going
to be able to get in. Um,
- [00:24:52.430]and then you can also think about,
- [00:24:53.870]do I go with a different species
to kind of hit a little bit later?
- [00:24:56.990]So it works for me.
- [00:24:58.940]but the big thing is to actually
pay attention and get ahead
- [00:25:03.740]of, cutting that down and
allowing it to wilt because,
- [00:25:08.090]one of the things we've
seen is a lot of really,
- [00:25:11.840]really wet small cereal silage. So,
- [00:25:16.560]a lot of the educators worked with
us over the last year or so to get
- [00:25:21.560]samples of small cereal
silage from producers.
- [00:25:24.860]We had 17 producers in 20 samples. Um,
- [00:25:28.970]Gary and Todd, thank you very much,
for all your help doing that.
- [00:25:34.070]And, this is Alexa Johnson. She's a
master student who's been helping,
- [00:25:38.660]get this coordinated and put together,
- [00:25:41.060]which is a lot of work and there would
be no way I would be able to manage it.
- [00:25:44.570]but I did wanna show
you one thing from that.
- [00:25:46.670]And that is 40% of those samples were
too wet when they were going into the
- [00:25:53.210]So a lot of too wet material going in,
- [00:25:57.230]they needed longer wilting periods. The
majority of them said they wilted. Now,
- [00:26:01.520]when we started looking
at the time periods,
- [00:26:03.950]they went anywhere from 30
minutes to, it's 12 hours.
- [00:26:08.720]It was kind of average.
- [00:26:10.130]Now what I have on here on this
graph is TD in and then pre and post,
- [00:26:14.720]which is the top number here.
- [00:26:17.390]So the top of these bars is basically
what the TV in or the energy content
- [00:26:22.010]was when it went into the silo.
- [00:26:26.030]And the black part of that bar is what
it was when it came out of the silo.
- [00:26:30.650]So it's how much energy you lost
during the fermentation process.
- [00:26:35.990]So have some stars on here
and I want you to notice some
- [00:26:40.400]correlations correlations.
That's a big word, right?
- [00:26:44.430]look at how big these gray
area is on these ones that are
- [00:26:49.470]starred. So this is the one
exception, but if you look at them,
- [00:26:52.560]look how much loss and TD in there was
from when they put it in the silo to when
- [00:26:57.180]they pulled it out of the silo,
huge went from 60 to 40, right?
- [00:27:02.400]So you start looking at this one
and this one, all the starred ones,
- [00:27:06.360]what they have in common, they
were way too wet when they went in.
- [00:27:11.670]So they all actually had
all of the red stars had
- [00:27:16.500]butyric acid production,
- [00:27:18.480]which just basically says that the
type of bacteria that were actually
- [00:27:21.660]fermenting were the type
of bacteria we don't want.
- [00:27:26.790]And I don't know if anybody has
went and smelled small cereal silo,
- [00:27:30.230]if it's put into wet and you
get that type of fermentation,
- [00:27:34.410]it smells like rancid butter
is not a pleasant experience.
- [00:27:39.450]It decreases the palatability.
- [00:27:41.520]So you can only put it in a
smaller proportion of the diet,
- [00:27:44.250]but it also results in a
whole lot of energy loss,
- [00:27:48.330]what you put in and what you got out
are two completely different things.
- [00:27:52.380]So my point here is that
we got a problem with this
- [00:27:57.240]and we we've got to work on
getting it harvested and actually
- [00:28:02.190]put up at the right dry matter to be
able to capture all the potential and the
- [00:28:06.300]numbers I was showing you, by the way,
the numbers I was showing you,
- [00:28:10.350]for TD and they were post fermentation
on, on the other slides. Um,
- [00:28:14.910]and so yeah, we do lose something
on average across all of those.
- [00:28:18.270]It was five TD in units,
- [00:28:20.040]but we had some that were 10 to 17
and you're going to inevitably lose
- [00:28:24.750]some there's very few of these. It
didn't lose something, but you know,
- [00:28:28.980]four or five, that seems
much more manageable. Okay.
- [00:28:33.180]So I was going to talk just
a second about inoculants.
- [00:28:36.300]I'm not an inoculant expert, especially
when it comes to small grain silages,
- [00:28:40.560]but we do have one that's coming. And
so if you're really interested, um,
- [00:28:44.700]I'll tell you about our conference,
which you should come to,
- [00:28:47.700]but I did want to point out there are
two different types of inoculants,
- [00:28:50.910]if you want to generalize them and
they have really different goals.
- [00:28:54.180]And so most people, if you're using
a custom harvester, they said,
- [00:28:57.900]you want to put an inoculant on
and it's like, yes or no thing.
- [00:29:01.920]And the truth is you need to
know a little bit more. Um,
- [00:29:05.700]so the two types are what we call homo
affirmative, which basically just means,
- [00:29:10.050]most of the time they're lactic
acid producing bacteria that they're not
- [00:29:13.470]relating with.
- [00:29:15.090]And those guys reduce the pH
in the siloed more quickly,
- [00:29:19.050]which means you should
retain more of the dry matter
- [00:29:24.300]and the energy content of that signage.
- [00:29:27.690]Assuming a couple of things,
- [00:29:29.940]one of which is assuming you don't
already have enough of them present.
- [00:29:33.300]So in corn siloed, for instance, um,
- [00:29:35.730]those types of bacteria already
naturally on the leaves.
- [00:29:39.090]And so as long as conditions are good,
- [00:29:42.460]you get at the right moisture. Um,
- [00:29:45.190]you get it packed well and inoculant
doesn't really help you that much.
- [00:29:48.580]From that standpoint. Now with
these guys, depending on stage,
- [00:29:51.640]it probably does matter a little
bit, but we have the expert coming.
- [00:29:54.790]You should talk to him
about it. hetero,
- [00:29:58.060]affirmative is a little bit different
goal and it usually has some lactic acid
- [00:30:02.530]producing bacteria that drop the pH,
- [00:30:04.600]but it also has some bacteria to produce
basically vinegar or a scenic acid.
- [00:30:09.340]And that actually helps to maintain
the stability of the silence as you
- [00:30:14.230]start feeding it out, or you're
exposing it to air, right?
- [00:30:18.540]One of the problems, not only with
the process of the fermentation,
- [00:30:23.470]but then you have, you're
trying to feed it out.
- [00:30:25.600]You're exposing it to air and you start
getting yeast and mold growing on it.
- [00:30:29.470]Well, if anybody's ever stuck
their hand into a pile of silence,
- [00:30:33.970]maybe that you knocked off
the day before and it's hot,
- [00:30:38.020]anybody ever experienced that
that's money burning, right?
- [00:30:42.190]Cause that's all your energy and
dry matter being digested by things.
- [00:30:45.250]You don't want to digest it.
- [00:30:46.540]You want the bacteria in the
room and to be digesting it,
- [00:30:50.020]not the yeast and mold that are on that.
- [00:30:53.050]The phytic acid producing
bacteria helps to reduce how
- [00:30:58.000]quickly that happens and
can increase the stability.
- [00:31:02.050]So the small grain silage
we're having a conference,
- [00:31:05.980]that's a solid conference and we're
focusing primarily on small grains.
- [00:31:09.970]It's going to be at the Eastern
Nebraska research center in
- [00:31:14.470]Mead. And there's, I have a couple
of things highlighted here cause I'm,
- [00:31:17.550]I'm pretty excited about this.
- [00:31:19.150]We have some experts coming from
across the country, to talk about,
- [00:31:24.160]small cereal silage. We have,
- [00:31:26.950]somebody who's going to talk
about agronomic management,
- [00:31:30.430]which I haven't told you anything about
seeding rates haven't told you about
- [00:31:34.120]fertility. I mean,
- [00:31:36.910]basically I kind of talked about very
generally what the plant and when the
- [00:31:41.350]harvest that there's all these other
questions out there, right? Um,
- [00:31:45.220]how it fits into the system.
- [00:31:46.900]Then another one is really the
fundamentals of silent management.
- [00:31:51.190]So it's really about kind
of the practical side.
- [00:31:53.650]And she does a really great job of
thinking about what can you actually do
- [00:31:58.510]and what makes big difference in how
much of that TDN you capture as I showed
- [00:32:02.590]you, some people were having
quite a bit of loss. Um,
- [00:32:05.860]so anything you can do means
more money in your pocket.
- [00:32:08.530]You already spent all the money you want
to get as much of it out as you can.
- [00:32:12.490]And then this is the one
I'm really excited. He,
- [00:32:14.600]he is the inoculant expert and
he's going to be coming and talking
- [00:32:19.450]about what inoculants to think about.
- [00:32:21.730]And when for small grain
silages in general,
- [00:32:25.180]the answer is not always yes,
- [00:32:28.060]in that the payback to inoculant is
going to depend on the conditions.
- [00:32:32.020]And so having some of those
ideas in the back of your head,
- [00:32:34.450]so you don't spend that extra
money if you don't need to,
- [00:32:36.880]but you do spend it when it's going to
give you return on investment, that's,
- [00:32:40.370]what's going to be really
beneficial. And then lastly,
- [00:32:42.800]we have a panel which will be, um,
- [00:32:45.470]a couple of producers and a couple of
nutritionists talking about using small
- [00:32:49.160]grain silages. So if you're interested,
there will be both an in-person,
- [00:32:53.810]and a virtual, all the
speakers will be in-person.
- [00:32:58.340]so show up if you'd like, it's free,
- [00:33:02.900]you just need to register. And this
QR code takes you to the registration.
- [00:33:07.460]There's also flyers in the back. If you
want to take them home with you. Um,
- [00:33:10.910]so you can remember it.
- [00:33:12.950]And the last thing I wanted to talk
about is if you're interested in,
- [00:33:17.960]you don't have cattle,
- [00:33:18.890]but you may be interested in
getting some money out of the deal.
- [00:33:21.770]And you're trying to figure
out with, you know,
- [00:33:24.800]a neighbor about how much should
I be charging for this,
- [00:33:29.540]this forage standing in the field.
This is a calculator that,
- [00:33:33.740]one of my, cohorts
over in ag economics,
- [00:33:37.940]along with an agronomist and myself
worked on putting together. And,
- [00:33:41.660]it's pretty handy to kind of figure
out, well, how much should,
- [00:33:45.330]that value be, really relative
to the current market, right?
- [00:33:49.340]So it's based off of the value of
the forage and what the expected,
- [00:33:53.180]yield you're going to get. And I just
showed you that it can vary tremendously,
- [00:33:56.570]right based off of when
you harvest. So,
- [00:33:59.690]making those decisions are going
to be important. All right.
- [00:34:03.770]So it is almost lunchtime.
- [00:34:07.130]And I think we'll take some questions.
- [00:34:09.950]Some questions. First question, we
do have one from online. Mary,
- [00:34:13.350]the question was, um,
- [00:34:15.920]have you done any work on mixtures of
those different, small grain species?
- [00:34:19.820]So a planting, a mix of tryna
Kaylee rye on purpose or wheat dry.
- [00:34:24.590]Yeah. So I have not, I've heard the
theories about planting, like a mixture,
- [00:34:29.120]especially for grazing with the
idea that if, say for instance,
- [00:34:32.870]the rag gets ahead of you. Maybe the
wheat is a little bit slower to come on,
- [00:34:37.670]which indeed the wheat and Trudy Kaley
is a little bit slower to come on.
- [00:34:41.300]And I would say there
might be some advantage,
- [00:34:43.970]especially if you're
going late with grazing.
- [00:34:45.950]Like if you're actually just going
to double crop forages, for instance,
- [00:34:48.410]and you're going to go into June
with grazing. Maybe that makes sense.
- [00:34:52.130]I don't have any data to say yes or
no. but I would say in general,
- [00:34:56.270]if I'm just shooting for an early
grazing, get off and get another crop in,
- [00:35:00.830]and I'm only going to go to may. I
don't think it's a huge advantage.
- [00:35:04.520]I don't really see a lot of difference
in the quality when they're in that
- [00:35:07.850]vegetative state. And I think we
can manage with a monoculture.
- [00:35:11.420]So that's kinda my, it depends
answer, which is most extension answers,
- [00:35:15.950]right? It depends.
- [00:35:17.390]Yes. Thanks. Okay.
- [00:35:19.700]Mary, two quick questions.
- [00:35:22.340]This is the Eastern Nebraska
soil health conference.
- [00:35:26.570]And as I traveled further west down I80,
I always see more cattle in the fields.
- [00:35:31.970]We got 50 farmers in this room right now.
- [00:35:34.640]I would like to see a raise of hands.
- [00:35:38.040]How many ran cattle on part of your
land this year? Raise your hand high.
- [00:35:44.010]Oh, maybe even more than I
asked who had cattle. Yeah.
- [00:35:48.240]That's great. Defend
your research at Mead,
- [00:35:52.140]Nebraska from the animal
- [00:35:55.230]How many days did you run those
cattle and you had multiple years of
- [00:35:59.910]data on the effect on crop
yields, both beans and corn.
- [00:36:05.520]So, he was just trying to set me up.
- [00:36:12.780]so we've done a lot of
- [00:36:15.960]We've done a lot of experiments with,
- [00:36:18.660]what I would call late summer planted
stuff that we grazed in the winter.
- [00:36:23.160]And those would be 60 to 90 days grazing
or the small cereals that are in the
- [00:36:27.180]spring. And we're really only looking
at a 30 to 40 days of grazing. Right.
- [00:36:32.100]But a lot of what we were doing
initially was looking at the
- [00:36:36.570]impacts of,
- [00:36:38.100]of having that crop as
well as grazing that crop.
- [00:36:41.730]We usually try to separate the two
on the soil and everybody's worried
- [00:36:47.370]about compaction.
- [00:36:49.830]And what's most interesting to me
is even when in some, some years
- [00:36:56.700]and some years in the spring,
right, it can get quite what,
- [00:37:01.260]and we can get quite pugged up.
- [00:37:03.750]And yet we really do not see any
measurable compaction. What we do see,
- [00:37:07.590]the only negative effect
we can see is that, um,
- [00:37:11.550]if it is wet and we do not pull the
cattle off, which we never do by the way,
- [00:37:15.960]we, we usually go for
the worst case, I guess.
- [00:37:21.360]If it is wet,
- [00:37:22.530]we can see a decrease in infiltration
rates and initially in the spring.
- [00:37:27.360]And, but here's the caveat to that.
We had the rye and we don't graze it.
- [00:37:31.920]We get an increase in infiltration
rate if we graze it and it's wet,
- [00:37:37.320]we have no benefit of the
rye for infiltration rate.
- [00:37:41.370]Now that's ameliorated very quickly. I
think what happens is we actually, um,
- [00:37:45.870]disturb the soil and we get some
small particles and they plug holes.
- [00:37:49.980]The nice thing about it is some
of that goes away fairly quickly,
- [00:37:53.640]but compaction wise, we really just
don't see anything, bulk density,
- [00:37:56.910]penetration, resistance.
- [00:37:58.110]We just don't see a lot of
impacts terms of yields.
- [00:38:02.490]We don't see any negative
impacts of grazing.
- [00:38:05.880]And in some cases we see positive
impacts. So especially grazing residue.
- [00:38:09.510]If we have a really high,
you know, corn residue,
- [00:38:13.380]so 200, 220 bushels, we can see
positive impacts on subsequent soybeans.
- [00:38:18.810]And in the last two years,
we actually did a trial.
- [00:38:23.190]So we send out a lot of
calves to graze on stocks.
- [00:38:28.170]we buy a lot of calves
in the fall and then,
- [00:38:31.560]we start bringing them towards home,
- [00:38:33.960]towards the feedlot as
we get into the spring.
- [00:38:37.300]And so we start collapsing groups down.
- [00:38:39.730]And so we'll have these
really big groups, you know,
- [00:38:42.160]four or 500 head of calves on a pivot
- [00:38:47.380]and we do it right.
- [00:38:48.700]They start coming home and they start
coming to in rec and the manager is like,
- [00:38:53.170]you are causing a problem, right?
- [00:38:56.350]So we have really high stocking
densities and it rains and it looks
- [00:39:00.730]like a dry lot, right? They,
- [00:39:03.970]there is nothing left in that
field. So last two years,
- [00:39:07.300]we did an experiment where we actually
looked at high stocking densities,
- [00:39:11.680]put them out. As soon as it
rain, if it rained two inches,
- [00:39:14.530]it was like time to go. We're
going to put everybody out there.
- [00:39:17.650]We're gonna have the same grazing rate
as a medium stocking density in the S in
- [00:39:21.970]the winter. And we graze in the
winter. We compared that to a no grace,
- [00:39:26.560]worst case scenario. It looked horrible.
I wish I show you pictures. I mean,
- [00:39:30.250]you just thought we had destroyed
it. And it was going to be horrible.
- [00:39:34.690]Guess what? Our subsequent
soybean yields were still greater.
- [00:39:38.920]They were actually improved above what
we saw with the traditional grazing.
- [00:39:44.080]And one of the, which is just crazy,
right? I mean, that was a shocker for me,
- [00:39:49.630]but again, we just really couldn't
see big impacts on compassion.
- [00:39:54.520]I think, the fact is
that while we think cattle,
- [00:39:59.470]you know, causes a big problem,
- [00:40:01.270]if you think about your equipment and
you think about how much compaction they
- [00:40:05.080]can cost, it's so shallow and the
most active part of your soil, right,
- [00:40:09.970]is where all the bacteria fungi are
working. We have the freestyle cycles,
- [00:40:14.470]you have the wet, dry cycles.
- [00:40:15.670]We just don't get as much
impact as what we would expect.
- [00:40:20.740]Cattle are low actual weight.
- [00:40:22.690]S that's right. Cattle are low. Actually.
- [00:40:27.130]I will take time for one more question.
Then we'll get started on lunch.
- [00:40:32.650]What catch Mary over lunch?
- [00:40:37.300]If you're just getting
you a grazed, a rye,
- [00:40:42.310]and have no intention of
planting another crop,
- [00:40:45.730]how long can you keep that rivalry
growing with a girl? All seven and nine?
- [00:40:50.080]Yeah, that's a great question. So
how long can I keep it growing? Well,
- [00:40:54.880]the truth is that it probably depends on
law on whether or not it gets away from
- [00:40:58.870]you, but in general, I would
say we can usually go until,
- [00:41:04.630]mid June on average is what I see
people who are actually trying to
- [00:41:09.520]do just a double crop forage,
before like, you know, keep growing,
- [00:41:14.230]but it will be so slow after that
point that it's not really worth it.
- [00:41:17.320]You're better off planting a warm
season that you're going to then,
- [00:41:21.400]come back in and grace. So that
would be my record recommendation.
- [00:41:26.020]And the other thing is that in general,
right, you see early on the growth rate,
- [00:41:30.550]isn't going to be as fast
and gets a little bit warmer.
- [00:41:32.620]It gets kind optimum
temperature, and it's faster.
- [00:41:35.180]So the stocking rate initially
that really is optimal.
- [00:41:39.380]And later in that season,
- [00:41:40.640]it's going to be different if you don't
have more animals than pulling some
- [00:41:44.570]acres out of that rotation
makes a lot of sense,
- [00:41:47.540]either harvest into silage or
killing it and planting the next crop and
- [00:41:51.560]maybe having more acres for the
first month of grazing and then fewer
- [00:41:56.150]acres for that later half a
grazing makes a lot of sense.
- [00:41:59.540]So you kind of got to play
a little bit with that.
- [00:42:01.700]I see a lot of people using it for cows
and they'll use it for when they're
- [00:42:05.330]calving. And that works really well.
- [00:42:06.860]Cause they'll just start adding more
cows who have calved and that kind of
- [00:42:10.130]works, but, management is going to
be the key to getting that extended.
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