South West Seeds Ltd

Wholecrop

The recent low prices for cereals has made their use a very attractive feed for both dairy and beef farmers. Wholecrop has the flexibility of using any legume or cereal, winter or spring sown to produce a high quality forage that is easy to ration. Wholecrop cereals have removed some of the major barriers to achieving maximum animal performance. At South West Seeds Ltd we have involved BIOTAL with many of our customers to develop systems suited to their individual farms.Some basic guidelines to follow are:

Conventional Wholecrop

Harvest when the grain is at the ‘soft cheddar’ stage. Equates to about 45% DM in wheat and 40% in DM in barley. If a processor is fitted to the harvester, fermented wholecrop can be harvested later, up to 70% DM.
Wholecrop is usually havested with a self-propelled fitted with either a combine reel or Kemper header. It can also be mown and then picked up and chopped, or made into big bales.
Right: Wholecrop being harvested at 70% DM and processed in the forager with Wholecrop Gold Mill inoculant added.

Chop Length

Target chop length should be approximately 2-4 cm, to aid compaction. This will result in a range of straw lengths with longer material as shown, which will aid rumination and stimulate saliva production.
Wholecrop Gold additive should be applied accurately and evenly. Weighing a full trailer is helpful when calibrating the applicator.

Wholecrop Gold pervents aerobic instabilty by eliminating yeasts in the forage which are the cause of heating in high dry matter crops. It also contains a powerful enzyme package which significantly increases the utilisation of the wholecrop.

Utilise the Straw

Treat with Wholecrop Gold. Enzymes improve feed value and it has been used as sole forage for sheep.

Analysis by
SAC, Nov 2001

DM% 78.3
ME 9.8
CP% 4.8

Clamp Management

Good clamp management is required as with any high quality forage. Fill the clamp evenly, compact it well and sheet as soon as possible to ensure a good fermentation.

Feeding Wholecrop Silages

  • Very flexible feed.
  • Can be self-fed from the silage face or bales.
  • Usually fed from a forage wagon or in a TMR.
  • Can be the sole forage in dairy and beef rations.
  • Normally complements grass silage.
  • Makes an excellent buffer feed.
  • Can be fed to dairy cows, beef cattle and youngstock/sheep.

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Kilfaddoch, Closeburn, Dumfriesshire, DG3 5HW
Tel: 01848 331416 Fax: 01848 331554
Email: mail@southwestseeds.co.uk