Title: Progress Report on On-farm Evaluation of Forage-stand Rejuvenation Methods to Determine the Most Effective and Profitable Methods for Northern Alberta Producers
Collaborators: Soames Smith (Rycroft) & Bill Smith (Grovedale)
Funding Received from: Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF)
Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye, PCBFA
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2016 Annual Report
Producers’ questions in the Peace on forage-stand rejuvenation methods always include: How much more forage does a reseed produce? How will I gain from forage stand rejuvenation? Where will I see the benefits? What reseeding methods or seeding equipment should I use? How can I reduce soil compaction and improve water infiltration? Can I seed in fall instead of spring? Are there studies comparing emerging new ideas of methods of rejuvenation to already established methods? To answer these questions, this project seeks to examine a dozen methods of rejuvenation of depleted forage stands at two locations in the Peace.
The key results of the project will include how to increase economic returns, how to improve forage quality and how to manage degraded soil with minimal environmental effects. The project is aimed at providing producers with a practical look at potential options and methods to improve the productivity of older forage stands. The different methods will be evaluated using the systems approach, which will examine individual production components (soil & environment, forage, livestock, and economics-cost/benefit analysis) and how these components interact.
There are 2 sites for this project. Site 1 is at Uddersmith Dairy- Soames Smith (organic beef farm), near Rycroft. Site 2 is at Bill Smith’s (conventional beef farm) in Grovedale.
The tests were established using a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three (3) replications at each site. Each treatment plot is about 0.25 acres in size making it approximately 10 acres (including gaps between treatment plots and replicates.