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Extending the Grazing with Corn: Corn Hybrids, Forage Yield and Feed Value

Updated: May 12

Collaborating Producer: Pat & Jay Eaton, Valleyview

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2012 Annual Report

There are many different ways to extend the grazing season. Benefits from extending the grazing season include reducing winter feed costs, improving manure distribution, decreasing fertilizer costs, reducing labour and time spent feeding, increasing soil organic matter content, yardage cost savings and improving animal performance and health. Some producers have experimented in recent years with grazing corn as a means of extending the grazing season in parts of the Peace. Results from these producers and the availability of corn hybrids with lower corn heat units (CHUs) have shown that grazing corn varieties might have potential in parts of the Peace region where this crop has not traditionally been grown. The results of corn hybrids tested for forage yield and feed value in Valleyview in 2012 are presented and discussed here.


The trial took place at the Eaton family ranch, on Alder Ridge Road, near Valleyview. There were 2 sites, one was on Alder Ridge road by RGE road 204 (50 acres) and the other one was on RGE road 205 (40 acres). The soil test for the Alder Ridge road by RGE RD 204 site showed a pH of 7.9, 9.6% organic matter, 100% base saturation, optimum K and S, while both N and P were low. So, we applied only a total of 250 lb/acre of N and P for the Alder Ridge road by RGE RD 204 site. For the RGE road 205 site, the soil test showed a pH of 7.4, 6.1% organic matter, optimum level of N, P, and S and excess K, so a total of 135 lb/acre of N (100 lb/ac) and P (35 lb/ac) was applied. In this report, the Alder Ridge road by RGE RD 204 site will be referred to as “Jones”, while the RGE road 205 site will be referred to as “Home”.