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Demonstration of Annuals in Monocultures and in Cover Crop Mixtures

Updated: May 25

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

Location: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2014 Annual Report

Cover crops are an important tool that farmers can use to generate benefits and services on the farm and for society, including improved soil health, nutrient supply to cash crops, weed suppression, insect pest management, forage production, pollinator resources, and clean water and air. Planting a mixture of cover crop species is one strategy that can be used to enhance and diversify the benefits that a cover crop provides. To design a cover crop mixture with increased potential for biomass production, choose species with complementary growth periods, growth forms, and nutrient acquisition strategies. Many of the services provided by cover crops, including nitrogen retention, nitrogen supply, weed suppression, and erosion control are regulated by cover crop biomass production. In 2014, a variety of forage type annual crops was seeded in monoculture and in some mixtures to assess their forage production potential. This report provides a highlight of forage yield and quality from the demonstration.


The demonstration was carried out at the Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site used was left to fallow in the summer of 2013. Prior to seeding, we took soil sample from 0-6” soil depth and sent it to Exova laboratory in Edmonton for soil analysis. The soil test showed an OM of 7.1% and a pH of 5.8. Prior to seeding, the site was rotor tilled and sprayed with Credit® as a pre-seed weed control. Soil temperature at seeding averaged 9 degrees Celsius.

We seeded the following crops on May 23, 2014 with a plot drill in small plots (8.5 m long 6 rows) at 23 cm (9 inches) spacing between rows:

Monocultures (11)-

1. CDC SO-I oat

2. CDC Baler oat

3. Bunker triticale

4. Tyndal triticale

5. Bumper triticale

6. Taza triticale

7. Proso millet

8. Siberian millet

9. CDC Horizon peas

10. Tillage radish

11. 40-10 peas