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Demonstration of 16 Perennial Grasses Established in Teepee Creek in 2018

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

Location: Mack Erno's Farm -Teepee Creek

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2019 Annual Report


Some perennial grasses were established in Teepee Creek in 2018. This report is intended to provide insight into their performance one year after establishment.

Methods

The perennial forage demonstration site is at Mack Erno’s farm, at Teepee Creek. The site had canola the year before and it was sprayed with a pre-seed burnoff with Express + Roundup before seeding the grasses in 2018.

We used randomized complete block design with 3 replicates. The following 16 perennial grasses were seeded on May 31, 2018:

CARLTON SMOOTH BROMEGRASS CATAPULT TIMOTHY

MBA MEADOW BROMEGRASS ALMA TIMOTHY

AC KNOWLES BROMEGRASS SHEEP FESCUE

FLEET MEADOW BROMEGRASS COURTNEY TALL FESCUE

TALL FESCUE/MEADOW FESCUE (MILKWAY) HPS TALL FESCUE

INTERMEDIATE WHEATGRASS CRESTED WHEATGRASS (FAIRWAY)

SLENDER WHEATGRASS (REVENUE) TP CREEK - ORCA ORCHARD GRASS

GREENLEAF PUBESCENT WHEATGRASS KILLARNEY ORCHARD GRASS

· Small plot size measuring 1.8 m x 8 m was used.

· No fertilizer was applied as the soil tests indicated sufficient amounts of nutrients for grass establishment.

· In-crop spraying was completed during crop growth with Curtail M.

· Harvest date one year after establishment was August 13, 2019 - wet conditions in the field prevented harvesting the grasses earlier than August 13 as intended.

Some Observations

One year after seeding, forage DM yield of the grasses varied from 3,587 lbs/acre for Fairway crested wheatgrass to 8,377 lbs/acre for Carlton smooth bromegrass (Table 1). Seven of the grasses produced 7,000 lbs DM yield/acre or higher. Others produced <7,000 lbs DM yield/acre.


Courtney tall fescue had the most energy (70.0% TDN) (Table 1). Only 6 of the grasses seemed to have sufficient TDN for mature beef cattle at different physiological stages (55, 60 or 65% TDN). Others generally had sufficient %TDN for dry gestating beef cows, which requires 55% TDN at mid-pregnancy and 60% TDN at late-pregnancy.

The forage protein (% CP) varied from 6.30 - 10.7% CP (Table 1). Catapult timothy had the most forage CP (10.7% CP), followed closely by tall fescue/meadow fescue (Milkway) with 10.4% CP and then Fairway crested wheatgrass (9.20% CP) in that order. None of the grasses was able to conveniently meet the 11% CP needed by mature beef cattle. Catapult timothy, tall fescue/meadow fescue (Milkway) and Fairway crested wheatgrass had adequate CP needed by a dry gestating beef cow in late-pregnancy. Others mostly had enough CP for a dry gestating beef cow in mid-pregnancy (7% CP).

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