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A Comparison of Selected Forage Type Cereal Crops for Forage Yield & Quality

Updated: May 25

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

Location: Fairview Research Farm (NW-5-82-03-W6)

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2013 Annual Report

Cereal crops can be successfully used as a source of quality forage for beef cattle. The most common cereals used for forage are oats, barley and spring triticale. Various studies by researchers at Lacombe have recognized the potential of triticale in beef cattle production systems, especially when used for swath grazing. In parts of the Peace, triticale is not yet a commonly grown crop for cow-calf feeding systems. Different types of cereal crops have different recommended stage of maturity for harvest for optimum beef cattle performance. And the stage of maturity is the most important factor determining the yield and quality of a cereal crop when used as forage. Small grain cereals are a good primary forage when backgrounding beef cattle. A small plot replicated trial was conducted in Fairview to examine a variety of cereal crop types, including 2 warm-season cereals.


The trial was conducted at Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site used had been summer fallowed in 2012, but had a Pioneer® brand canola variety trial the year before (2011). Soil tests for the site showed a pH of 5.4 and 8.8% organic matter. The site was harrowed and then sprayed with Credit® for pre-seed weed control.

Seeding and Crop Management

A total of 9 cereal forage type crops and varieties (7 cool- & 2 warm-season) were tested. Cool-season cereals consisted of: 4 triticale (Bumper, Bunker, Taza & Tyndal varieties), 1 barl