Homegrown cereals — such as barley, sorghum, triticale and wheat — can play a big part in reducing overall feed costs and improving profit margins. Moist, crimped cereals can be harvested earlier and passed through a special crimping machine that cracks the grain to expose the starch. The early harvesting window of crimped cereals maximizes dry matter (DM) yield and allows a following crop to be established sooner. Crimped cereal also reduces the costs of drying grain.

The high-starch and low-acid levels of crimped cereal results in good feeding values and makes it an ideal complement to feeding grass silage or haylage. Crimped cereal can also be a good source of digestible fiber.

Maturity and Dry Matter

Moist-crimped cereals can be harvested earlier — around 25 to 40% moisture — and processed by the crimping machine.

Harvest OptionsCrop DM %Crop ColorStem ColorEar ColorGrain Texture
Fermented high DM milled wholecrop /
start of crimping
50-60YellowMainly yellow, trace of green at the nodeYellowHard cheddar, thumbnail impression held
Fermented high DM milled wholecrop / crimping60-70Yellow/goldMainly yellow, trace of green at the nodeYellow/gold with some ears turned downVery hard cheddar, grain pierced with thumbnail
Crimping / end of fermented high DM / milled wholecrop70-80Yellow/brownYellowGold, turned downHard, some grain, pierced with thumbnail, others impossible

when to crimp


Due to the high DM and starch content of crimped grain, aerobic instability caused by yeasts and molds can affect feedout quality. New inoculant technology has played a big part in successfully ensiling this challenging crop.

Learn more about forage inoculant choices for crimped cereal.