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Journal Research Papers

Research Articles

Several of our staff members have had the opportunity to author and/or co-author many research papers that have been published in respected scientific journals.  Here you will find links to those that are available online.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity can be altered by intercropping plant species, as well as N fertilizer applications. This study examined the effects of oat‑pea intercropping and N fertilizer addition on the richness and diversity of mycorrhizal species, as well as identified the most common arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) genera recruited for oats and peas in two growing seasons (2019 and 2020).

The AMF diversity was higher in an intercropped system compared to their respective monocropping system. Under drier conditions in 2019, arbuscular mycorrhizal richness decreased with N fertilizer addition in sole peas and increased with N fertilizer addition in sole oats, but no significant change in richness was observed in oat‑pea intercropping. During the wetter growing season 2020, arbuscular mycorrhizal diversity increased when oat and pea were intercropped, compared to either sole oat or sole pea. Future investigations can further reveal the functions and benefits of these mycorrhizal genera in annual monocrop and intercropping systems.

In general, the brassicas and forbs investigated produced forage with high nutritional quality. Based on forage DM yield and nitrate level in the forage, the crops with the most attractive forage options that can provide alternative forage feed for beef cattle production from this study would be buckwheat, daikon radish, inka brand marrowstem kale and forage collards.
Intercropping systems involving cereals with legumes provide several advantages such as elevated forage yield and improved forage nutritive value. This study was designed to assess the viability of corn (Zea mays L.) intercrops to improve the forage crude protein (CP) of corn forage for beef cattle production. A corn monocrop (C- M) was compared with seven corn intercrops (five annual legumes, a non-legume crop (radish (Raphanus sativus L.), C-RA) and an annual crop mixture (ACM)). Results indicate that selected corn intercrops can improve the nutritive value of forage for beef cattle production.
A 3-year on-farm study was conducted in northwestern Alberta to determine the effects of several pasture rejuvenation methods such as breaking and reseeding, spraying to control weeds and brush, forage-seeding methods, fertilizer application, pasture rest, and aeration/spiking. results measured included; forage dry matter (DM) yield, botanical composition, and forage quality.
A 2-year field study compared annual crop mixtures and monoculture cereal crops (controls) for forage yield and quality value for beef cattle production. Each of the mixtures consisted of 2 to 9 crop species. Study results demonstrated that growing a minimum of 3 annual crops, rather than 1 or 2 crops, increased forage production and offered a forage-based diet that, which in most cases, was able to adequately meet the nutritional requirements of beef cattle. The mixture with the highest forage yield consisted of crops from 3 different species categories: Poaceae, Leguminosae and Brassicaceae.
The study was aimed at providing livestock producers with options on practical methods to improve soil quality of pastures for improved forage production and livestock carrying capacity. The study was carried out on-farm from 2015 to 2017 at two sites in northern Alberta, Canada. The methods of rejuvenation (treatments) evaluated were: sub-soiling, break & re-seed (pasture renewal), a combination of manure application plus subsoiling, pasture rest, inorganic fertilizer application, high stock density grazing and bale grazing. A check/control treatment was included for comparison. For break & re-seed, the forage mixture seeded (16.8 kg ha-1) consisted of 60% grasses and 40% legumes. Overall, bale grazing improved soil organic matter (SOM) by up to 3.80% over other methods including check. In terms of soil compaction penetration resistance, water infiltration rate, water content and nutrients particularly N, P and K, bale grazing system as a method of rejuvenating old pastures significantly showed higher values than check at both sites. Without having to break and re-seed old pastures, the first option that livestock producers would have success with in improving soil quality for better  pasture productivity would be bale grazing. The next two methods or rejuvenation strategies with great potential for improving soil conditions for pastures would be a combination of manure application plus subsoil in fall and high stock density grazing
Producing high-quality forage and maintaining productive pastures is a major challenge that beef producers encounter, as rejuvenation is a complex and costly challenge. This is part of a series of papers looking at potential options and methods of rejuvenation to improve the productivity of older forage stands in northern Alberta. The methods of rejuvenation investigated were sub-soiling, break & re-seeding, a combination of manure application plus subsoiling, high stock density grazing, bale grazing, pasture rest, as well as direct seeding in spring and fall. In this series, forage dry matter (DM) yield, forage nutritive value and economic performance are presented and discussed. The top 5 forage DM yielders were bale grazing,  manure + subsoil in fall, break & re-seeding, high stock density grazing and fertilizer application in that order. In both years, bale grazing consistently produced higher forage DM yield than other methods including control, with bale grazing giving up to 100% higher yield at site-1 and 219% at site-2 for the 2-year total forage DM. Most forage nutritive value parameters measured were similar for the rejuvenation methods investigated. A simplified economic analysis done in this study showed that the direct input cost of rejuvenation an old forage stand was higher with the break & re-seeding method than other methods. However, for bale grazing, when the cost of hay bales used was factored in, then the cost of bale grazing far exceeded those of other methods including break & re-seeding. The implications of the results obtained in this study in relation to beef cattle production system are high.
Spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack) monocrops and their intercrops with two forage varieties (40-10 and Tucker) and one seed variety (Cooper) peas (Pisum sativum L.) were evaluated for forage production, nutrition quality and suitability in the beef cattle diet. Pea + cereal intercrops were compared to respective cereal monocrops in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Overall, the tested pea + cereal intercrops did not increase DMY over the respective monocrops, but they indicated several nutritional quality benefits. These improvements present opportunities to substitute some grain or supplements in the beef cattle diet with better quality forage by intercrops.

The objective was to explore the potentials of five spring triticale (xTriticosecale Wittmack) varieties (AC Ultima, Bunker, Companion, Pronghorn, Taza and Tyndal) for integration into beef cattle feeding systems in the northwestern Alberta, Canada. This was carried out over four growing seasons (2009 to 2012) at different sites, using RCBD in each year. The crop was cut at late milk stage to determine the silage (SY), dry matter (DMY) and protein (CPY) yields, and nutrition quality. The growing seasons appeared to have significant (P < 0.05) effects on most of the measured parameters. The implications of these findings on uses of triticale forage in ruminant nutrition and the need for more studies are discussed.

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