Research Program Manager: Dr. Akim Omokanye
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2018 Annual Report
Intercropping systems involving cereals with legumes have been observed to provide several major advantages, such as higher total yield, better land use efficiency, yield stability, better utilization of light, water, and nutrients, improved soil conservation, and maintenance of soil fertility. Peas are usually included in mixes to improve quality of the feed. To increase utilization of annual cereal and legume forages as hay, greenfeed, or silage, and to develop supplementation programs for forage-based nutrition, it is important to know how the nutritional values of different forages match up with beef cow needs. The objective of this study was to compare the intercrops of spring oats, barley, and triticale with 2 pea varieties to respective cereal monocrops for forage yield and feed quality. This was part of the regional silage variety trials in Alberta. In addition to the report presented here, results from this site and other parts of the province for the pea-cereal mixtures will also be reported in the Alberta Seed Guide (www.seed.ab.ca).
The study site was at the Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site had been in alfalfa hay for more than 15 years. The site was sprayed with Roundup and plowed in the fall before. This was later disced and harrowed in the spring before seeding. Soil tests at 0-6” showed an organic matter of 7.6%, a pH of 6.9, and an electrical conductivity of 0.2 dS/m.
Experimental Design: Randomized complete block design in 4 replications.
Treatments: 3 cereals (1 barley, 1 oat & 1 spring triticale) & 2 pea varieties (CDC Meadow & CDC Leroy) were used in the following pea-cereal mixtures:
1. AAC Austenson barley (monocrop)
2. Taza triticale (monocrop)
3. CDC Baler oat (monocrop)
4. CDC Austenson barley/CDC Leroy pea