When making silage from oat crops (GCCS), harvesting should only be done at the booting stage, as this species is not ideal for whole crop cereal silage.
Barley is recommended to be harvested at the whole crop stage, with either oats or triticale providing better leaf yield if crops are cut at the green chop stage.
Triticale can be harvested at either the green chop or whole crop stage. The whole crop stage maximises yield and carbohydrate content of the silage (see graph below), while the green chop stage maximises protein content at the expense of yield and carbohydrate. Harvesting between these stages is not advised as it fails to produce optimum yield or quality.
Whole crop silage is high in carbohydrate (in the form of starch) and fibre, with moderate protein, making it ideal to supplement animal diets when they are grazing brassica crops, or pastures with high water and protein content.
Green chop cereal silage has a good balance of protein and energy (similar to good pasture silage), so can be used as a substitute for a lack of available pasture.