More producers are now baling their canola straw for use as a source of roughage for their cattle herds.
Many have made the assumption that the straw left behind when harvesting canola would be too fine to bale, but Lorne Klein, Range Management Extension Specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, says making adjustments to the combine can allow the straw to be more intact.
He adds the feed value of the canola straw is almost similar to cereal straw.
"So you're somewhere in that four to five per cent protein, 40 maybe 42 per cent energy, so certainly it's a product that you're going to be supplementing with pellets or screenings, or grain, or some good quality hay."
Farmers growing canola should make sure they are seeding the right kind if they plan on feeding the straw to their livestock.
Klein says those who want to bale canola straw should use a Roundup Ready canola and check grazing restrictions on their pesticides.
He adds using canola straw for feed could increase the risk of spreading clubroot.
"The straw itself is not a concern, but any dust or rain splash or soil particle that the bail pickup might be putting into the straw or any soil on the bottom of the bail, when your loading and transporting the bails, even the transport machinery so you certainly want to be thinking about that."
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