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Testing Alternative Forage-type Annual Cereals & Grasses for Forage Production in High Prairie

Project Site: Bill Fevang's Farm - High Prairie

Research Program Manager: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2018 Annual Report

In the Peace Country, cool season annual forage-type cereal crops such as barley, oats, and triticale are well suited to the growing conditions and can provide emergency or supplementary forage for beef cattle production. These crops establish quickly after seeding and can provide pasture later in the growing season when perennial forage production is decreasing and demand is at its highest. Traditionally, oats and barley have been the most widely used annual cereal crops for forages and feed grains. The latest trend in the Peace has been to grow multispecies cover crop mixes (usually known as cocktails) for use in livestock production and for soil improvement. The objective of this study was to assess the performance of 3 warm season annual forage-type cereal crops, Festulolium (a hybrid forage grass developed by crossing Meadow or Tall Fescue with Perennial or Italian Ryegrass), and an Italian ryegrass for forage production in the Peace to determine potential alternative crops to traditional cool season oats.


The study site was at Bill Fevang’s farm in High Prairie. The site had canola the year before and it was sprayed with a pre-seed burnoff before seeding the different cereal crops in 2018. Soil tests from 0-6” showed an organic matter of 10.3%, a pH of 5.9, and an electrical conductivity of 1.0 dS/m. The soil had 27 lbs N/acre, 23 lbs P/ac, 496 lbs K/ac and 19 lbs S/ac. The different annual cereal and grass crops seeded are listed below:

1. Haymaker oats (check) seeded at 116 lbs/acre (28 seeds per square ft.)

2. Corn (CanaMaize) seeded at 32,000 kernels/acre