Wholecrop Options

With spring almost upon us, for those looking for different forage options for the coming winter, what have you considered?  While many have in the past grown maize (prices currently available), over the last couple of years there has been a stronger move towards wholecrop.

In the past this was considered a poor man’s maize, but is it?  Personally, I think it makes sense, especially if you are an autumn calving herd around the 8,000-litre mark on a local cheese contract, because you are looking to drive solids rather than milk production.

However, have you looked at the different options available for wholecropping?  The obvious ones are wheat or barley.  Personally, I do not have a preference to which because they both analyse very similar, so it is what works best for you, your farm and your rotation.  The real difference however is that the wheat will provide you with a better volume of forage to ensile.

Have you looked at different options?  With protein prices rising in the last six months, is it worth considering a mix to try and improve the proteins grown on farm?

Through our seed supplier we can as standard supply mixes of peas & barley, peas, barely & oats and peas, barely & vetch.  On top of this we would be able to supply any bespoke mix that you would like.

As an example of adding a protein source to the mix, I have a client that for a number of years has grown straight spring barley for his wholecrop source. He had averaged over the years 10.2 ME & 10% CP, whereas last year they grew barley & vetch which analysed 10.6 ME & 13.4% CP, so an increase of nearly 3.5% CP which meant they were able to feed less protein on farm this winter, and therefore make a saving, with protein prices rising.

Please contact Andrew on 07717 442888 or email andrew@dblbuyinggroup.co.uk to discuss Spring seed options and pricing.