Trial Location: Fairview Research Farm, NW-5-82-3-W6 on RR #35, MD of Fairview
Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2015 Annual Report
In Alberta, oats have become a reliable source of conserved forage for over-wintering beef cattle. In an effort to continue to identify oat varieties that have superior forage production in the Peace, PCBFA tested a few oat varieties in Fairview in 2015. The test was part of the Regional Silage Variety Trials (RSVTs) testing program, which includes testing of new barley varieties as they become available for adaption, forage yield and quality across Alberta. In addition to the findings presented here from our trial, the results from the RSVTs across the different trial sites in the province will also be reported in the Alberta Seed Guide (www.seed.ab.ca).
The study site was at Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site used was seeded to alfalfa and had been hayed for more than 10 years. Prior to seeding, soil tests at 0-6” soil depth done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) showed an organic matter of 3.0 % and a pH of 6.9. The site was sprayed with Roundup the fall before and worked in the spring before seeding .
Five (5) oat varieties were arranged in a randomized complete block design in 4 replications in small plots. Seeding was done on May 25 with a 6-row plot drill at 9 inch row spacing. Fertility according to soil test recommendations for balanced crop nutrition was 200 lb N + 96 lb P + 62 lb K + 75 lb S, applied at seeding. Roundup was used for burn off. In-crop spraying was done with 0.44 L/ha Prestige A + 1.98 L/ha Prestige B. The oat varieties tested were:
CDC Baler – forage oat
AC Morgan –milling oat, but commonly used for silage or green feed
AC Mustang – feed oat
CDC SO-1 (Super Oat number 1) – feed/forage oat
CDC Haymaker - new forage oat
Forage harvest was done on August 6 at the late milk stage. Four rows per plot were harvested by hand and weighed fresh. Sub-samples (about 500 grams per plot) were dried and later reweighed for dry matter (DM) content and DM yield estimation. Forage samples were analyzed for quality using standard procedures for wet chemistry by Central Testing Laboratory Ltd., Winnipeg.
Fairview was generally dry in 2015, and grasshopper infestation was very high. Moisture received from seeding to harvest was 4.32 inches, with 1.19 inches received from August 3 to 5, which was just a few days before forage harvest.