Rolling barley at different stages for maximum silage yield

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

How low can you go? When it comes to silage, a lower harvest height can add real tonnage to the final yield tally.

Kayla Slind, acting general manager with the Western Applied Research Corporation (WARC), says that harvesting close to the ground requires land rolling to protect the harvester from damage due to picking up a rock or stone. But when is it too late to roll, and what impact does it have on yield?

Slind joins Kara Oosterhuis for this quick video filmed at Scott, Sask., during the WARC field day, to discuss the one-year Agriculture Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) project looking to answer that question.

Barley plots received one of four treatments: no rolling, rolling at 1 to 3 days after seeding, at the 2 to 3 leaf stage, and at first node.

Slind says that the visual impact of rolling at the 2 to 3 leaf stage was minimal, as the crop bounced right back up. The crop rolled at first-node took several days to pop back up, but all crops received a good rain after rolling, which may negate any impacts of rolling, Slind says.

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