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Warm Season and Cool Season Cereals: Forage Yield & Quality

Trial Site: Fairview Research Farm

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2017 Annual Report

Because of the increasing number of acres of cocktail mixtures in parts of the Peace, there is a need to regularly test new annual crops as they are introduced to the Peace for their adaptation, potential forage yield, and suitability for soil health improvement and inclusion in cocktail mixtures. Warm season crops such as red proso millets have been grown for greenfeed for some time now in the Peace region. Reports by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food (SAF) at Weyburn have shown that in Western Canada warm season crops can provide a high-yielding alternative to barley and oats, and they can be utilized for greenfeed and swath grazing. Warm season plants require higher soil temperatures for germination in spring and they grow well under high temperatures. It is important to note that, warm-season grasses cannot tolerate frost.


1. To continue to assess the performance of warm season annual forage-type cereal grasses for forage yield and feed quality, and for their suitability for inclusion in cocktail mixtures for beef cattle production.

2. To compare forage yield and quality of warm season cereals with cool season cereals.


  • Project Site: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview.

  • Previous crop: Chemical fallow in 2016; forage-type brassicas in 2015

  • Site soil information (0-6” depth): Soil tests done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) prior to seeding showed pH = 5.8 and soil organic matter = 7.0 %.

  • The field was cultivated (disked and harrowed) before seeding.

  • Experimental Design: Randomized complete block design in 3 replications.

Treatments: 3 cool season forage-type spring cereal crops (checks 1, 2 & 3) and 6 warm season grasses listed below were tested:

Cool s