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Harvesting Winter Triticale Silage

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

March 1, 2013
Harvesting Winter Triticale Silage

While the harvest of winter triticale silage is still a month away for most farms it's important to review what it takes to make high quality silage from this crop. Hopefully enough nitrogen fertilizer was put on at green-up (see Feb 2013 AgFocus article) to ensure high yields of 3-4 tons of DM per acre. Harvesting at the flag leaf growth stage, wide swathing, tedding, ensiling the same day as cutting, and applying a homolactic bacterial inoculant will enable NWNY farmers to put up winter triticale silage (and other small grain silages) that rivals haylage in forage quality.

Field Operations
Winter triticale harvest should happen about a week before the first haylage harvest since winter small grains start spring growth sooner than alfalfa and grasses. There will be about a 5-to-10 day window to harvest winter triticale once it reaches the flag leaf growth stage, Feeks Stage 9 (Figure 1). The seed head will still be in the stem, somewhere between half and three-quarters of the way up the stem. Once the seed heads are visible at the top of the stem the triticale has reach boot stage, Feeks Stage 10 (Figure 1), and forage quality will start to rapidly decline. Winter triticale will still make a great feed for heifers and dry cows and will continue to increase in tonnage up to the late boot stage if rain delays the harvest on some fields. Cutting the triticale low (1 inch or less) at these growth stages usually prevents any regrowth.

Laying the triticale in as wide of a swath as possible when cutting will increase the drying speed for the first 3-4 hours. The swaths should then be tedded after this initial drying time to expose the bottom and inside of the swaths to the sun and wind since only the outer inch of swath dries quickly. It is very important to SLOW down when tedding. Some farmers have learned this the hard way by literally tearing their tedders apart in the field by trying to move the 10-12 tons per acre of wet triticale silage too quickly. An even layer without large clumps should be present across the field after tedding. Conditioning small grain silage has not helped increase drying time in NY. The breaking of alfalfa stems generally helps hay crops dry quicker in the second or third day of drying.


Ensiling
Winter triticale silage should be put in the bag or bunker the same day as harvest if possible. Laying a wide swath and tedding will greatly reduce the silage moisture, especially on sunny and windy days. Even with lower dry matter silages (~30% DM), same-day ensiling has generally reduced the occurrence of butyric (black/slimy) layers in the silage. Initial research has shown that as the temperatures fall overnight, respiration (micro-organisms breaking down the silage into CO2) increases and leads to more spoilage. Inoculating with a homolactic bacteria can also help improve fermentation and decrease spoilage. Area farmers have had success using a number of different products for inoculation of winter triticale silage.

Contact Bill Verbeten at 585-313-4457 or wdv6@cornell.edu if you have further questions about harvesting winter triticale or other small grain silages.



Figure 1: Winter Triticale Growth Stages (pdf; 115KB)


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calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Beginning Farmer/Hobby Farmer Workshop $5/pp, class size is limited, so pre-register by April 15th!

April 27, 2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canandaigua, NY

This hands-on workshop is for beginning or part-time farmers who would like to improve their farm machinery skills, learn to properly and safely maintain their equipment to protect their investment. If you have been thinking about buying a tractor, new or used, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, compact or utility or more come join us. Topics include: selecting the right size/type tractor for the job; basic maintenance; staying safe around tractors and equipment; attaching implements properly; and information about ROPS and SMV's. There will be time for questions.

Pre-registration requested by April 15, 2019 email Amy with your name, address, and phone number or call 585-394-3977 x 429.
Fee: $5.00/person. Class size is limited.

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2019 Pastured Poultry Seminar, lunch included so please register by May 10th! $25/person

May 18, 2019
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.w/ coffee & donuts with the Program running from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Attica, NY

The main speaker this year is Eli Reiff of Mifflinburg Pennsylvania. Eli raises broilers, turkeys, sheep, and beef, all on pasture. Topics to be covered will include the pasture, feed and nutrition, marketing, costs, and much more. As we grow as farm operators and get bigger, we may not pay as much attention to the basics as we should. So those areas are where we will start, and then expand to cover the group's interests.

Mike Badger, Director of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association will also be available for a round-table discussion. Plans are to have representatives from Farm Bureau, NYCAMH for farm health and safety, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, as well as others.

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Calling all 9th-12th graders! 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College

May 21, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm Register by Friday May 10th! $15/per person includes lunch
Batavia, NY

Calling all 9th-12th graders!  We have an exciting new program for students interested in technology, science, engineering, and agriculture!
Would you like to:
  • Learn about how Drones collect information
  • Check out some potential career opportunities that have new and ever-changing technology
  • Learn how these technologies can be used in our own backyards in WNY
  • Discover potential and exciting career opportunities

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Announcements

Producers Previously Enrolled in the LGM Program Now Eligible for MPP

Dairy Producers Previously Enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program Now Eligible for 2018 Margin Protection Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.
Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit farmers.gov.


Smart Farming Team Technical Assistance Grant Application

The Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.
  • HIRING EMPLOYEES 101 - GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START
  • ONBOARDING & TRAINING EMPLOYEES QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY
  • FINE-TUNING & IMPROVING THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
  • H2-A READINESS
Please complete this application and send to Nicole Waters, Beginning Farm Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. The form can be submitted by email, mail or in-person at the address listed below. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Nicole Waters - Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
Plant Science Building, Room 15b
Tower Road, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9911
Email: nw42@cornell.edu

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.



USDA Announces January Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers First 2019 Dairy Sa

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2019 ? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for 
DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50 for January.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 - $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $2,250.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $2,250

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

"Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We're working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill."

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at farmers.gov/farmbill.


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1

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