So you are looking to seed some barley to harvest as a forage crop this year? We have some barley varieties for you to consider!
When you are looking for a forage barley, you have some specific goals in mind. Perhaps you want to silage your barley or use it as green feed or to swath graze.
We have quite a different number of barley varieties available, but here are our three top choices for forage barley.
Our Top Three:
AB Advantage Barley: New for 2021! With it's smooth awn and excellent standability, new 6 row AB Advantage Barley is an excellent choice for those customers looking for a combination forage/grain feed option. AB Advantage has the plant material to provide excellent forage yield and its smooth awn makes it well adapted to forage. But wait - there's more - It also yields right up there with CDC Austenson for grain yield! A couple of cautions though - one is that we like to see 6 row barley seeded on soil with fairly good moisture potential to ensure the seeds come out plump and to meet the bushel weight targets. Also it is taller than Austenson, so in a high input situation it might lodge more than Austenson but we are excited about Advantage!
CDC Maverick Barley:For the dryland ranch farmer who wants a high yielding forage barley that will do well with minimal inputs, Maverick barley is our number 1 choice. CDC Maverick is a two-row forage barley with smooth awns that make it a cow favorite when baled or used for swath grazing. It has a nice big kernel with a heavy bushel weight when harvested for grain which makes it excellent for rolling for feed purposes. Keep in mind, though, that Maverick will not provide the grain yield that you would get with some other varieties. Also, it doesn't have the straw strength to stand up well in an irrigation situation.
CDC Austenson Barley - Austenson has been our go-to 2 row feed barley choice for the last number of years. It performs well on dryland and irrigation, has nice plump seeds and a heavy bushel weight, and it is a top silage yielder. I know people are always looking for something new but Austenson is just an excellent variety and is tough to beat.
For a look at our total barley lineup and a comparison of the different varieties, see our comparison chart.