Published Feb 15, 2017

Harvesting, Storing and Feeding Rye to Cattle

By Practical Farmers of Iowa

Jim Larson, of Sioux Rapids plants a rye cover crop ahead of soybeans, then makes ryelage to feed to his beef cattle. Whenever Jim has harvesting questions, he contacts Pat Jones, a dairy farmer in Spencer, Iowa, who plants rye ahead of corn and has been making ryelage for 15 years. Tune in to hear Jim and Pat discuss their methods for harvesting, storing and feeding ryelage to both beef and dairy cattle.

Jim and Marcia Larson have been farming and running a cow herd for 46 years near Sioux Rapids, Iowa. Their primary enterprise is selling bulls from a purebred Angus herd. They have been planting rye and harvesting it for feed the cattle for five years and have practiced management-intensive grazing for close to 40 years.

Patrick and Nancy Jones, along with three of their adult children, operate a 1,000-cow dairy northeast of Spencer, Iowa. They raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa along with cover crops. Cover crop forage has been part of their feeding program since 2000