Trial Site: Fairview Research Farm
Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2017 Annual Report
Because of the interest in cocktail mixtures, there is a need to regularly test new annual crops as they are introduced to the Peace for their adaptation, potential for forage yield, and suitability for soil health improvement and inclusion in cocktail mixtures. Forage-type legumes for cocktail mixtures include those of cool and warm season types. Cool season legumes include peas, faba beans and hairy vetch and warmseason legumes include crops like cowpeas and soybeans. These crops produce N and provide ground cover for weed and erosion control, in addition to the many other benefits of growing cover crops. Legumes are generally lower in carbon and higher in nitrogen than grasses. This lower C:N ratio results in faster breakdown of legume residues. Therefore, the N and other nutrients contained in legume residues are usually released faster than from grasses. Mixtures of legume and grass cover crops combine the benefits of both, including biomass production, N scavenging and additions to the system, as well as weed and erosion control.
To identify forage-type legumes that can be recommended for inclusion in cocktail mixtures.
Project Site: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview.
Previous Crop: oats for greenfeed in 2016, forage grasses from 2010-2015
Site soil information (0-6” depth): Soil tests done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) prior to seeding showed pH = 5.6 and soil organic matter = 8.0%.
The field was cultivated (disked and harrowed) before seeding.
Experimental Design: Randomized complete block design in 3 replications.
Treatments: 12 forage-type legume cover crops were tested: