top of page

Evaluation of Warm Season Cereal Crops for Forage & Feed Value

Updated: May 12

Trial Location: Fairview Research Farm

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2011 Annual Report

Winter feed is very costly for cow-calf operations. To reduce feed costs and the overall yearly cost of production, producers are exploring various options in lengthening the grazing season. For years, options such as swath grazing of annual crops, stockpiling of perennial forages, bale grazing and bale processing have been common practises for extending grazing season. However, in recent years in parts of the Peace, there is a gradual increase in the number of producers wanting to explore the potential and suitability of warm season crops (particularly corn) in extending the grazing season.

Warm season plants require higher soil temperatures for germination in spring. The optimum growing temperature is 18 - 24°C for cool season plants and 32 - 35°C for warm season plants. Temperatures below 10°C at night will slow the growth of warm season plants. The objective of this project was to evaluate warm season cereal crops (corn, millet and forage sorghum) for forage yield and feed value.


Seeding and Management:

For this project, 9 corn varieties, 2 millet varieties (Proso & German millet), 1 sorghum variety (CFS30) and 2 forage oat varieties (CDC Baler & CDC SO-I) as checks were seeded. Both Proso and German millets are two of the most commonly grown millet varieties in western Canada. CDC SO-I (CDC Super Oats, variety number one) is a new forage/