8 March 1996

Whole-crop results

DAIRY cows eat plenty of urea treated whole-crop wheat but fail to perform as well off the forage as its feed analysis suggests.

"This is possibly because the right harvesting technique has not been found to maximise use of small whole wheat grains. It could be that grain crackers are needed," says Prof David Beever of Reading University.

When urea treated whole-crop is fed milk energy output declines in proportion to available energy compared with grass silage, he claims. This results from poor starch digestibility of the whole-crop due to whole grains passing through the rumen. &#42