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Salvaging crops for fodder, grain or grazing - costs and income calculator

This tool was developed to help producers make decisions about salvaging crops affected by drought and/or frost conditions. The calculator helps growers to compare various management options such as grazing, baling crops for hay or silage and taking crops through to harvest.

Growers input data from their own situation to assess the costs and returns of each option. By knowing the costs and potential value of each product, growers are then able to make an informed decision on the best option for failing crops.

Users should be aware that:

  • The default values in the calculator might not be correct for your situation.
  • Incorrect or poor quality information will produce nonsense results and users should seek advice from their local agronomist or livestock adviser if they are unsure of suitable values.
  • The calculated values are estimates only and should be used with caution.
  • It is important that producers check pesticide withholding periods before either cutting crops for hay, silage, or grazing by livestock.
  • Wrapped canola silage warning – there have been reports of rapid plastic wrap breakdown when used on canola silage causing early silage deterioration. Regularly check wrapped silage for signs of plastic wrap deterioration.
  • Grain yields are determined by harvest index percentages, which use the crop's dry matter biomass to predict a grain yield. These values become more reliable as the crop reaches peak biomass. Undertaking this comparison before peak biomass might underestimate potential grain yields.
  • If hay or silage is made from a failed crop it is recommended to get a feed quality test done. This will help you to develop your own livestock feeding program and also in selling either the hay or silage. Feed samples can be tested through the NSW DPI Feed Quality Service – 1800 675 623.
  • The tool also includes instructions for calculating paddock crop dry matter biomass and a recording sheet for use in working out crop biomass.