May 2023 Life after winter forage

Note: For northeast and north central, triticale and rye are rapidly approaching harvest stage. It was driven by that short burst of warm weather.  The region is now facing extended rainy weather to delay harvest.  The silver lining is that the temperatures are supposed to be below 60 during the day and lower 40F, upper 30F at night.  When this happens the quality of the forage often holds.  I have had headed triticale with the same digestibility as flag leaf when these conditions occur.  The 12 hour NDFd may drop but the 30 hour NDFd holds. Thus the forage may still be good for high producers and excellent for the middle group.  If you are forced to make wetter forage, we suggest to chop it like we learned with  sorghum – 3/4 to 1 inch long to reduced leachate. Use a homolactic inoculant and we suggest a higher rate to make up for potentially lower sugars.  We have made perfectly fermented triticale at upper teens and lower 20 dry matter.  We don’t like hauling all that water but you may not have a choice with the weather hand dealt this year.

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