LUARS Research 2022 – Results from Forage Experiments
Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA
2022 crop season has been dry. Total rainfall during June and July was only 87 mm. As a result, the yields were low. Given below are the results from the experiments on forage crops at LUARS in 2022:
Barley Varieties for Forage Production:
• Fifteen varieties were evaluated for forage production.
• Highest forage dry matter yield was registered by Amberly (11.30 MT/ha; 8.4 % protein), AB Advantage was the next best high forage yielding variety (9.30 MT/ha; 10.9 % protein).
• Averaged over 2021-2022, Amberly (9.51 MT/ha), AB Tofield (9.29 MT/ha) and Oceanik (9.24 MT/ha) were the three top forage producing varieties.
• AB Tofield (13.4 %), AB Hague (13.1 %) and TR1867 (12.4 %) had a high protein content.
• RFV was highest in Oceanik (173) followed by AB Cattelac (151).
• Considering the dry matter yield and protein content, AB Tofield (6 row barley; a dual purpose grain and forage variety) can be recommended for forage production! AB Tofield seed can be obtained from SeCan.
Malting Barley Varieties for Forage Production:
• Seventeen malting varieties were evaluated for forage production.
• Highest forage dry matter yield (11.2 MT/ha) was obtained with CDC Churchill followed closely by AB Brewnet (10.7 MT/ha). AAC Goldman (9.95 MT/ha) was the next best variety for forage production.
• Averaged over 2021-2022, CDC Churchill (10.7 MT/ha) and CDC Copper (10.2 MT/ha) and produced the highest forage dry matter yields. AB Brewnet yield (10.0 MT/ha) was pretty much the same as CDC Copper.
• Butta 12 (13.5 %), CDC Fraser (12.0 %) and CDC Copper (11.2 %) had higher protein content than the other varieties (7.5 % to 10.5 %).
• CDC Copper had the highest RFV (167) followed closely by CDC Churchill (159).
• Considering the dry matter yield and RFV, CDC Copper can be recommended for forage production! CDC Copper is a dual purpose variety (grain and forage production) and its seed can be procured from FP Genetics.
Alfalfa Varieties (Seeded in 2020): Two cuts were taken!
• Two western alfalfa varieties (Revolution MD and Response WT) were compared with two Atlantic Canadian varieties (AAC Trueman and Elite); WL319HQ (RR alfalfa) was a check variety.
• Dry matter yield from two cuts varied from 3,355 kg/ha with AAC Trueman to 3,970 kg/ha with Revolution MD. Two other varieties that produced similar yields to Revolution MD were Elite (3,938 kg/ha) and Response WT (3,857 kg/ha). Based on average of the two years (2021 and 2022), Response WT (4,561 kg/ha) gave the highest and AAC Trueman (4,089 kg/ha) the lowest dry matter yield. However, the yield differences between the varieties were not statistically significant.
• First cut protein content varied from 19.3 % in WL319HQ to 22.1 % in AAC Trueman and from 19.7 % in Elite to 21.6 % in WL319HQ in the second cut.
• RFV was highest in AAC Trueman (133) in the first cut and highest in WL319HQ (132) in the second cut. Generally speaking, higher RFV could mean higher milk yield.
• Considering the protein content and RFV, AAC Trueman can be recommended for cultivation on farms.
Alfalfa Varieties (Seeded in 2021): Two cuts were taken!
• Six alfalfa varieties were compared for their forage yield and quality.
• Shockwave BR gave the highest (4,193 kg/ha) and Evermost (3,355 kg/ha) the lowest dry matter yield. However, the yield differences between the varieties was not statistically significant.
• Protein content in the first cut ranged from 21.4 % in Shockwave BR to 23.5 % in 135.
• Second cut protein content was the lowest (20.7 %) in 135 and highest (22.8/22.7 %) in Revolution MD/Dynasty.
• Evermost had the highest RFV (168) in the first cut and Revolution MD had the highest RFV (139) in the second cut.
Comparative Performance of Alfalfa and Galega (Seeded in 2011): Two cuts were taken!
• Galega gave ~500 kg/ha higher dry matter yield than alfalfa, which was more grass than alfalfa. Alfalfa stand had become scanty over the years.
• Averaged over 2012 to 2022, Galega (5,070 kg/ha/year) produced higher dry matter yield than alfalfa (4,574 kg/ha/year).
• Galega had 2.6 % point higher protein content in the first cut and 1.7 % point higher protein content in the second cut as compared to alfalfa.
• RFV was somewhat higher in alfalfa (132) than Galega (127) in the first cut, whereas in the second cut RFV was more or less the same in alfalfa (136) and Galega (135).
• Higher yield and higher protein content in Galega than in alfalfa, could make Galega a better fodder than alfalfa!
Alternate Forage Legumes (Seeded in 2020): Two cuts were taken!
• Galega, sainfoin, alfalfa and red clover were compared for their production potential and forage quality. Sainfoin and red clover didn’t survive the 2021-2022 winter.
• Dry matter yields from Galega, alfalfa and Trefoil were 2,449, 2,411 and 1,788 kg/ha.
• In the first cut, Galega had 1.3 % point higher protein content than alfalfa and Trefoil had 1.6 % point higher protein content than alfalfa.
• Second cut protein content was highest (25.1 %) in Galega and lowest in alfalfa (19.8 %).
• RFV in the first cut was highest (144) in alfalfa, whereas in the second cut, Trefoil had the highest RFV (153).
Forage Production Potential with Kernza, Perennial Rye and their Mixtures with Alfalfa (Seeded in 2017):
• In the Kernza alone treatments, regrowth of Kernza was too poor to take the second cut. Therefore, only one cut was taken.
• Alfalfa + Kernza (80:20 mixture) recorded the highest dry matter yield (4,128 kg/ha) in 2022 and also highest total dry matter yield over five years (2018-2022 – 23,892 kg/ha = 4,778 kg/ha/year). Dry matter yield from alfalfa + Ace 1 (Perennial Rye) 80:20 mixture was 3,771 kg/ha in 2022. However, Ace 1 did not survive beyond winter 2018-2019 and alfalfa + Ace 1 was virtually alfalfa alone.
• In the first cut, protein content was higher in alfalfa + Ace 1 (80:20) mixture (24.0 %) followed by alfalfa + Kernza (80:20 mixture) – 21.1 %. Protein content in Kernza alone ranged from 15.9 % to 20.3 %.
• In the second cut, alfalfa + Kernza (80:20 mixture) had lower protein content (15.5 %) than alfalfa + Ace 1 (80:20) mixture (22.2 %)
• In the first cut, RFV (118) was highest in alfalfa +Kernza (80:20 mixture). In the second cut, higher RFV (138) was recorded with alfalfa + Ace 1 (80:20 mixture) than with alfalfa + Kernza (80:20) mixture (111).