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On-farm Demonstration of Cocktail Mixtures

Collaborating Producers: Conrad Dolen - Fourth Creek, Greg & Bev Wieben - Fairview & Allan McLachlan - Fairview

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2016 Annual Report

Cover crops (CCs) and their mixtures (cocktail mixtures) are an important tool that producers can use to generate multiple benefits on the farm, including improved soil health, nutrient supply to companion or subsequent crops, weed suppression, insect pest management, forage production, pollinator resources, and clean water and air. There are many different CC species to choose from, and each CC species has different abilities to provide the benefits mentioned above. Cocktail cover cropping involves using complex mixtures of CC seeds, which can be up to 5, 8 or more varieties of seed in a single mix to achieve multiple soil health, production and profit goals. Three on-farm field scale demonstrations were carried out in 2016 with a variety of cocktail mixtures. Soil tests (except for one site) were carried out before seeding for base data. Subsequent soil tests (2017 & 2018) would be compared to the base data to assess any soil health improvements.

Site 1: Conrad Dolen, Fourth Creek: Cocktails for Silage