Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA
Alfalfa Varieties OFCC 2015:
• Dry matter yield ranged from 6,053 kg/ha (55V50) to 6,608 kg/ha (54Q14).
• None of the varieties (55V48, 55V50, 55Q27 and 54Q14) produced significantly higher dry matter yield than the check (OAC Superior; 6,502 kg/ha). OAC Superior has shown yield stability for more than a decade!
Alfalfa Varieties OFCC 2014:
• Two years total dry matter yield varied significantly with the 6 tested varieties. However, none of the varieties recorded significantly higher dry matter yield than the check (OAC Superior; ~13,000 kg/ha).
• Highest dry matter yield (13,655 kg/ha) was obtained with 55V48.
• GS-14-05 had the lowest dry matter yield (12,040 kg/ha), which was significantly lower than that of OAC Superior. Another General seeds variety (GS-14-06; 12,897 kg/ha) equaled OAC Superior in dry matter yield.
Sainfoin Varieties 2014:
• Six sainfoin varieties were compared with alfalfa for dry matter yield and feed quality.
• In the two years totals, alfalfa (11,256 kg/ha) gave over 1 MT/ha extra dry matter yield than the two best varieties of sainfoin (Nova; 10,064 kg/ha and LRC 3432; 10,026 kg/ha).
• Feeding 25-30 % of sainfoin with alfalfa is known to overcome bloat problem!
• Feed quality of sainfoin (Nova) and alfalfa was more or less similar in the first cut except that sainfoin (108) had higher RFV than alfalfa (99). In the second cut, protein content in the two legumes was similar, but energy values and RFV was lower in alfalfa than sainfoin.
• This year we have seeded Mountainview, which is considered to be the best sainfoin variety; results will be known in 2017.
Comparative performance of alfalfa and Galega:
• Galega seeded @ 25 kg seed/ha (6,375 kg/ha) produced 1 MT/ha higher dry matter yield than alfalfa (5,317 kg/ha) in two cuts. Whereas @ 35 kg seed/ha, Galega (8,391 kg/ha) gave 3 MT/ha higher dry matter yield than alfalfa.
• Galega @ 35 kg seed/ha inter seeded with berseem clover @ 13 kg/ha in the previous years, helped to raise the Galega yield this year to 8,879 kg/ha! However, the protein content in Galega wasn’t affected by berseem.
• Protein content in Galega, both in the first and the second cut, was up to 2.4-3.3 % point higher than that in alfalfa.
• Calcium, sodium and boron seemed to be lower, but copper, zinc, iron and manganese were higher in Galega than that in alfalfa.
Tall Fescue Varieties OFCC 2014:
• In the two years total dry matter yields, 3 (out of 7) top yielding varieties were Courtenay (14,631 kg/ha), Yukon (14,484 kg/ha) and Kora (14,407 kg/ha) over.
Orchardgrass Varieties OFCC 2014:
• Dividend VL, which has done well in the previous years too, produced the highest dry matter yield (12,070 kg/ha) over two years.
• Okay was the next best variety for hay production (10,792 kg/ha).
2.1 Grasses: Residual effect of urea and its blends with ESN and ammonium sulphate on forage grasses mixture – Timothy (Itasca) 50 %, Bromegrass (Peak) 42.5 %, and Orchard grass (Dividend VL) 7.5 %:
• No fertilizers were applied this year and only one cut was taken.
• None of the fertilizer treatments had significantly higher yield than the check (no fertilizer treatment); though the best yielding (4,572 kg/ha) fertilizer treatment was urea @ 58.25 kg/ha + ESN @ 26.25 kg/ha + ammonium sulphate @ 20.5 kg/ha.
• Protein content varied from 6.4 % in the check (No N) to 8.0 % with urea @ 58.25 kg/ha + ESN @ 26.25 kg/ha + ammonium sulphate @ 20.5 kg/ha (total 105 kg N/ha) and 8.6 % with urea @ 84.5 kg/ha + ESN @ 35 kg/ha + ammonium sulphate @ 20.5 kg/ha (total 140 kg N/ha). The latter treatment recorded the highest RFV.
• Thus the residual effect of the fertilizers applied in the previous years was exhibited in the protein content only.
Effect of potassium (K) and sulphur (S) on forage grasses mixture – Timothy (Itasca) 50 %, Bromegrass (Peak) 42.5 %, and Orchard grass (Dividend VL) 7.5 %:
• Treatments included all combinations of K (70, 140 and 210 kg K2O) and S (0 and 24 kg S/ha) and a check with no K or S.
• There was no significant effect of the treatments on the average dry matter yield for 3 years (2014-‘16), which varied from 6,600 kg/ha in the check to 7,216 kg/ha with 140 kg K2O/ha (recommended rate as per the soil test). It appears that due to adequate rainfall during the period of this experiment, nutrient availability and supply from the soil wasn’t limiting.
• S, but not K, improved the protein content. Neither of the two nutrients increased the RFV.
2.2 Alfalfa: Evaluation of NK21 as a source of N and K for alfalfa (one cut in 2015 and two in 2016):
• NK21 was compared at two rates of N (21 and 31.5 kg/ha) and K2O (87.7 and 98.2 kg/ha) with equal amounts of N and K from ammonium sulphate supplemented with muriate of potash. In NK21 treatments, S to equal amounts of ammonium sulphate in the other treatments was applied as potassium sulphate. K levels were adjusted to equal in both the fertilizers (ammonium sulphate and NK21).
• NK21 and ammonium sulphate significantly improved the dry matter yield as compared to the no N, K or S check (7,218 kg/ha over 2 years).
• Highest yield obtained with NK21 @ 31.5 kg N/ha (9,244 kg/ha) wasn’t significantly better than that with ammonium sulphate (8,954 kg/ha) at the same rate of N. A reverse trend in yield with the two fertilizers was noticed at the lower rate of N (21 kg N/ha).
• Averaged over the two N rates (21 and 31.5 kg/ha) dry matter yields with the two fertilizers were about the same (~8,800 kg/ha).
• N application improved the protein content by maximum up to 1.7 % points in the first cut and up to 3.7 % points in the second cut. Protein content with NK21 and ammonium sulphate was similar both in the first and the second cut.
• ADF and NDF appeared to be higher and TDN and RFV lower with NK21 than that with ammonium sulphate in the first cut. In the second cut, these values didn’t differ much.
• The experiment will be repeated next year for proper evaluation of NK21.