Trial Site: Fairview Research Farm Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye
From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2016 Annual Report
Swath grazing is one of the commonly used methods in the Peace to extend the field grazing season. Swath grazing eliminates the cost and time of baling or silaging. It also eliminates the cost of cleaning corrals and hauling manure from feedlots. In the Peace, oats are commonly used for swath grazing. Triticale is a dual-purpose cereal crop and it therefore has the potential to provide economic benefits for both grain and for-age based production systems. Studies have shown that when grown for forage production in dryland conditions, triticale has the potential to produce around 10 per cent more forage yield than barley and oats and its forage quality lies between barley and oats. When compared to general purpose/feed wheat or barley, triticale showed superior yields on marginal lands and in drought conditions. In 2016, we tested 5 spring triticale varieties for their suitability for swath grazing.
The study site was at the Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview. The site had soybeans in 2015. Soil test at 0-6” soil depth done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) prior to seeding showed an organic matter content of 7.3%, a pH of 5.4 (acidic) and an electrical conductivity of 0.58 dS/m. The field was cultivated before seeding.
We used a randomized complete block design in 4 replications. Small plots measuring 11.04 m2 (118.8 ft2) were used. 5 spring triticale varieties (Tyndal, Sunray, Bunker, 94L043057 and Taza) were seeded at the rate of 370 plants/m2 (34.3 plants ft2) with a 6-row Fabro plot drill at 9” row spacing. Seeding was done on May 16.
For fertility (actual lbs/acre), 0 N + 33 P + 47 K + 0 S (broadcast) was applied. Soil test showed adequate amounts of N & S for the crop, so N & S were not applied.
Roundup WeatherMAX® was used as pre-emergent 7 days after seeding. In-crop spraying was done with 2, 4 - D 700 at 0.35 L/acre. Rouging was done a few times.
At the swath grazing stage (mid-dough), forage DM yield was estimated & the forage nutritional value was determined.
Results and Interpretation
Forage DM yield (Table 1)
The DM yield as percent of check (Taza) was highest for Bunker (120%), followed by Sunray (113%) and then Tyndal (109%). Only 94L043057 had less yield (85%) than Taza (check).