– Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County
The value of cover crops as feed may never be more recognized than it has been over the past few years. However, with wheat straw for bedding bringing prices at auction that are similar to those of first cutting hay, perhaps grass covers such as cereal rye are just as valuable for bedding as they are for feed. That becomes even more so in a wet spring when the timely harvest of grass covers like cereal rye is challenged. Feed quality of cereal rye declines quickly as harvest is delayed. All that said, cereal rye becomes a very acceptable alternative to wheat straw for bedding that was discussed in more detail previously in the article, Grass Cover Crops; Bargain Feed or Bedding?. Below is the recent result of the practice described in that article.