Forage cereal crops in NZ are predominantly Wheat, Barley, Maize, Oats, Triticale, Ryecorn and Peas. The reason for growing Forage Cereal crops is to achieve as high a yield as possible, with winter growth of these crops out yielding ryegrasses in terms of dry matter production. Some forages have proven to produce up to 30% more dry matter than annual ryegrass during the autumn/winter early-spring period.
Time of sowing is critical for forage cereals, as it has a major impact on total yield, days to first grazing, and quality at grazing. Paddock preparation is less critical than for new pastures, as cereal seed is less sensitive to deep sowing, and cereals are more competitive with weeds.
Being able to produce large volumes of quality silage creates many opportunities to increase farm profitability.