Forage cereals have a higher winter growth rate than most pasture options. Growth rates can vary based on the species, but generally cereals offer flexibility to any farming operation through sowing, grazing and silage or hay.
Cereals also play an important role in paddock preparation and weed control. Oats generally provide the most forage of all cereal crops. However, they can all be grazed very satisfactorily.
Forage cereals can be harvested either as a cut and wilted crop or direct cut and ensiled.
Ryecorn is a species of cereal that has been commonly grown on the sandy outlays of the Mallee regions of South Australia and Victoria. A versatile species that tolerates very dry conditions and grows well on sandy soil types. Performs best when grown on good fertile soils that will respond well to nitrogen applications to gain the most out of the shorter growing season.
Oats are a good robust dual purpose cereal for graziers around Australia that can be grazed during the winter months prior to being shut up to be cut for hay. Oats are a great source of on-farm hay production that can be sown as a monoculture or blended with other species such as ryegrass and clovers to increase yield and quality.