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  1. #1

    Wholecrop Silage

    My agricultural tenant wants to plant Wholecrop silage, probably barley, on an annual field rotation. E.g. year 1 field 1, year 2, field 2, and so on.

    Question is, after he has done a field, does it need to be reseeded, if it is being used for grazing after the wholecrop silage is harvested or is it good to graze after the harvest? I'd have thought it needs to be re-seeded.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    Depends. If it's undersown the grass will be there ready, if not then yes it will need reseeding.

  3. #3

    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    Quote Originally Posted by Paw View Post
    Depends. If it's undersown the grass will be there ready, if not then yes it will need reseeding.
    Won't the ground be rough after ploughing to establish the crop, requiring it to be re-seeded & rolled after harvest?

  4. #4
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    If a good level seedbed can be obtained, a sensible method would be to sow a suitable grass-seed mixture along with about
    50kg/acre of barley. A herbicide can be applied later and the only requirement would be that it is safe for young grass. And a grass/barley mix would make better
    silage than barley alone.

    After harvest, if the undersown grass is worth retaining, if clover is wanted, it can be introduced by over-sowing using whatever method is deemed suitable.

    But as August said, the alternative is to direct reseed after harvest.

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    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    Don't put grass under wheat. In fact, don't put it under any crop.

    Let him grow wholecrop wheat, chop it off in July, go back in later, about September (or earlier if weather permits), with a set of discs or light harrows, create a tilth, and drill the new ley. Roll firmly.

    With wheat the farmer can clean the ground up a treat as you can use some very potent chemistry that you can't use when grass is present.

    You can direct drill the grass seed after, depending on what chemistry has been applied to the crop beforehand.


    Where customers are doing a spring reseed, a lot of my guys drill spring barley in first at 35kg/acre (not more) and then drill the grass on top. Nitrogen and weed control, mow off in July, grass grows like stink afterward- the barley acts as a nurse crop.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LALANS's Avatar
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    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Don't put grass under wheat. In fact, don't put it under any crop.

    Let him grow wholecrop wheat, chop it off in July, go back in later, about September (or earlier if weather permits), with a set of discs or light harrows, create a tilth, and drill the new ley. Roll firmly.

    With wheat the farmer can clean the ground up a treat as you can use some very potent chemistry that you can't use when grass is present.

    You can direct drill the grass seed after, depending on what chemistry has been applied to the crop beforehand.


    Where customers are doing a spring reseed, a lot of my guys drill spring barley in first at 35kg/acre (not more) and then drill the grass on top. Nitrogen and weed control, mow off in July, grass grows like stink afterward- the barley acts as a nurse crop.
    Totally disagree with what you say. I have been using wholecrop ( barley, oats, tares, vetches and peas)as a method for establishing a grass ley for years and it has proven the most reliable. A contractor with a wholecrop header cut when the cereal milky, additive used and after its been cut for a few days you would never have known that a wholecrop silage was taken off. Keep the wholecrop standing, so reduce seed rate and fertiliser. Never needed to use a herbicide.
    Also as its taken mid July you have several months of good grazing.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wholecrop Silage

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Don't put grass under wheat. In fact, don't put it under any crop.

    Let him grow wholecrop wheat, chop it off in July, go back in later, about September (or earlier if weather permits), with a set of discs or light harrows, create a tilth, and drill the new ley. Roll firmly.

    With wheat the farmer can clean the ground up a treat as you can use some very potent chemistry that you can't use when grass is present.

    You can direct drill the grass seed after, depending on what chemistry has been applied to the crop beforehand.


    Where customers are doing a spring reseed, a lot of my guys drill spring barley in first at 35kg/acre (not more) and then drill the grass on top. Nitrogen and weed control, mow off in July, grass grows like stink afterward- the barley acts as a nurse crop.
    Feck! That's a hundred and fifty years of doing it wrong!

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