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Alternative Feeds: Forage Yield & Feed Value of Brassicas and Warm Season Cereals

Updated: May 12

Collaborating Producer: Grant & Audrey Gaschnitz, High Prairie

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2012 Annual Report

The costs associated with forage, feed and feeding systems are the largest contributors to total cost of production in a cow/calf enterprise. Many options are available to producers to reduce feed cost, particularly in the later part of fall and during winter. These options have always relied on conventional annual forage feed types such as oats and barley for greenfeed, silage and swath grazing. In recent years, weather in parts of the Peace region, particularly during the growing season has been erratic. Yearly fluctuations in the amount and distribution of precipitation received could have severe effects of available forage and grain feed for beef cattle production. Research and demonstrations on alternative feed sources and feeding strategies need to be explored and utilized for cow/calf feeding systems. These will further help us identify other means to reduce these costs as well as to identify those crops with potentials for the Peace region. In this report, the agronomic adaptation & feed value of a variety of crops are presented and discussed.


Site: A total of 60 acres was used to seed the following crops: Tillage Radish®, purple top turnips, red Proso millet, forage sorghum, 3 corn hybrids (BrettYoung Fusion RR, BrettYoung Edge R and Pickseed 2219RR), Tillage Radish®-Cowboy barley intercrop, Boyer oats (check) and Cowboy barley. Seeding was done between May 28 and June 28, 2012, with the corn hybrids, forage sorghum and Proso millet being seeded earlier (May 28 –29) than the other crops. The entire site received 65 lb actual N/ac + 30 lb actual P/ac through broadcast application. The soil test indicated sufficient amounts of K and S, so both K and S were not included in the blend. The trial involved