Below you will find a detailed description of each forage type that we custom harvest the most for our customers.
"Haylage is an anaerobic method of curing forage for later use that allows forage producers to harvest the forage at a time when the energy is at its highest. If producers manage the cutting and storage of haylage properly, they will significantly reduce the amount of high priced purchased feed that is needed. Haylage is cut with the same equipment as hay; however, hay is dried to 18 percent moisture or less, and haylage is only dried to 40 to 60 percent moisture."(LivestockLinks newsletter, Article, What is Haylage? by Johnathan Gladney)
"Triticale is a crop species resulting from a plant breeder's cross between wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale). Even though triticale is a cross between wheat and rye, it is self-pollinating (similar to wheat) and not cross pollinating (like rye). Most triticales that are agronomically desirable and breed true have resulted from several cycles of improvement, but are primarily from the durum-rye crosses with some common wheat parentage occasionally involved. Harvest is about one week later than wheat, and it threshes easily when dry." (Alternative Field Crops Manager, by Oelke, Oplinger and Brinkman."
Rye is a grass related to wheat and barley. It can be grown in poor quality soils and low temperatures making it ideal to plant early in the year before a long-term crop, like soy beans, needs to be planted, thus utilizing the ground and making a profit. Rye is then turned into ryelage and fed to the cattle. Rye is an inexpensive crop to plant making it profitable to feed to cattle.
"Timing of ryelage harvest is critical to ensuring high quality forages. Waiting until head emergence is too late as the rapid maturing of the plants results in high fiber, lower quality forages. Monitoring stands for the emergence of the flag leaf is important. Shortly after flag leaf emergence the flower head will emerge. Timing of harvest prior to head emergence is the goal. Producers can carefully dissect tillers or feel for the flower head to determine stage of growth.
High amounts of forage dry matter from rye stands present a challenge for rapid dry down. The faster the forage is wilted to optimum fermentation dry matter levels the higher the levels of plant sugars remaining in the plant which results in better fermentation and higher quality forage. By mowing and not conditioning the rye and then putting the forage in as wide a swath as possible producers can take advantage of sunlight to increase rates of dry down. Conditioning is important for drying forages to hay moisture levels but does not benefit haylage storage practices."(PennState Extension website, Article, Ryelage Harvest, by Paul Craig)
We harvest grain corn which is different than sweet corn. We leave the corn ears on the stalk until fall when the stalks and leaves turn brown. When the combine goes through the field, it picks up the entire salk, removes the corn kernels and discards the rest back onto the ground. It is then stored at the proper temperature and moisture levels to be turned into silage.
Earlage is similar to corn silage, but the entire stalk is salvaged instead of returning the leaves, stalks and cobs back to the earth. The combination of the whole stalk turned into silage produces a better silage for cattle, cuts costs and saves on fuel. Earlage is best cut when there is still green at the bottom of the stalk. It means that the ears are at a peak moisture content, allowing maximum fermentation. As the crop dries further, the protein and energy levels become reduced making it less efficient as a feed for cattle.