Around 60 people attended the recent Organic Dairy Day, held Aug. 9 in Morris as part of SFA’s Soil Health Network event series.
At the event, Dr. Bradley Heins of the U. of M. West Central Research and Outreach Center and Guy Jodarski discussed integrating livestock and cover crops, as well as dairy cattle health. They detailed a project that grazed winter wheat and rye, and discussed the results.
“People were very interested in the idea of grazing winter wheat/rye in early spring and using cover crops for grazing and for improving soil health,” Heins said.
One attendee wondered why the project planted winter wheat and winter rye instead of triticale, which is known to lignify slower than winter wheat and winter rye; it was then discussed that winter wheat and winter rye are the most available cover crops for seed in the Midwest and have the best overwinter survivability. Further, rye has great survivability and highest tonnage when compared to triticale and spelt, but one risk is a narrow harvest window.
For more upcoming SFA Soil Health Network events, as well as other soil health resources, visit our Soil Health Portal.