Project Site: Fairview Research Farm NW5-82-3-W6
Research Program Manager: Dr. Akim Omokanye
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2018 Annual Report
Cool season annual forage-type cereal crops such as barley, oats, and triticale, and legume crops like peas are well suited to Peace Country growing conditions, and provide acceptable forage yield and quality for winter grazing. Several new annual crop mixtures are currently available on the market in western Canada. When making decisions about which annual crop species to include in a mixture, producers need to be aware of the adaptation, potential forage productivity, and ecological stability of any newly introduced crop species in their area. Several annual crops are suitable for inclusion in cocktail mixtures for forage production (grazing, silage, or greenfeed) and to improve soil health. Many of the alternative feeds vary widely in nutrient content, making an analysis or some assessment of the feed value necessary. Several cover crops are still relatively new to us in the Peace, and questions have been asked about the adaptation, yield, and forage quality in order to determine their suitability for livestock production. This article reports the forage yield and quality of several species of annual forage-type crops that were tested in Fairview in 2018.
The study site was at the Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site had been in alfalfa hay for more than 15 years. The site was sprayed with Roundup and plowed the fall before. This was later disced and harrowed in the spring before seeding. Soil tests at 0-6” showed an organic matter of 7.6%, a pH of 6.9, and an electrical conductivity of 0.2 dS/m.
The following alternative forage-type crops were tested in 4 replications using RCBD:
1. White proso millet- cereal/grass
2. AC Andrew white wheat- cereal
3. AAC Jatharia soft white wheat- cereal
4. Red siberian millet- grass
5. Perun festulolium- grass
6. Barfest festulolium- grass
7. Fojtan festulolium- grass
8. Sorghum sudan grass- grass
9. Japanese millet- grass
10. CDC Haymaker (Check) - cereal