Research | Energy Dense Annual Forages |

Energy Dense Annual Forages

At this Brookdale Research Field, MBFI is researching energy dense annual forages. This page provides information about this particular research project; including the background, objectives, and updates.

  • Project Leads:
    • Juanita Kopp, Industry Development Specialist - Beef (Manitoba Agriculture) | Send Email
    • Matthew Wiens, Industry Development Specialist-Beef (Manitoba Agriculture) | Send Email 
  • Project Start: May 2015
  • Project Status: In Progress (Year 2)
  • Location: Brookdale Research Field as well as sites at Arborg, Beausejour and Carberry

Fact Sheet PhotoFor more information follow this link to a fact sheet

Background

Energy dense annual forages within grazing systems may offer the potential to increase the grazing season length while providing feed of superior quality. These types of forages can provide a new forage option for cultivated land that may help improve soil quality while at the same time provide forage to cattle during the fall critical period. In the fall, perennial pastures should be rested from grazing so they are able to survive the winter and be productive the following growing season.

Objectives

  1. To evaluate the productivity and growth of four energy dense annual forages (EDAF) in four different locations across Manitoba.
  2. To measure the forage quality of the selected forages, including the amount of sugar, total digestible nutrientsand protein levels.
  3. To observe the growth characteristics of these ‘novel’ forages and evaluate their usefulness for beef producers.

Updates

As of October, 2016- In 2016 only chicory and plantain were planted in larger pastures at the Brookdale site to re-evaluate their palatability and productivity. The chicory and plantain pastures were seeded with an overstory crop of oats. The oats were cut on July 27th, 2016. Twelve random hand-clipped samples were taken of each the forages to determine yield and quality. The oats overstory crop was baled for silage and placed into bale bags on July 29th. The cattle started to graze these pastures at the end of September, after they finished grazing the poly-cropping demonstration.

As of Fall 2015 - Forage varieties have been established at the sites in Arborg, Beausejour, and Carberry for the purpose of measuring productivity and forage quality. Four forage varieties were planted at the Brookdale site: chicory, plantain, Italian ryegrass, and festulolium. They were planted in strips with a combined area of 9.6 acres. Forty-eight cow-calf pairs were grazed on the four forage varieties in October 2015, and their grazing preference was monitored. Observationally, the Italian ryegrass and festulolium were preferred, however, chicory has so far been the most productive. Plans are being developed for further testing of the energy dense forages at the Brookdale site in future years.

Photo Gallery

Select any image below to view enlargement and/or play slideshow:

Gallery: Plaintain at the site in Carberry, Manitoba (August 8, 2015) class= Gallery: Festulolium at the site in Carberry, Manitoba (August 8, 2015) class= Gallery: Chicory at the site in Carberry, Manitoba (August 8, 2015) class= Gallery: Italian ryegrass at the site in Carberry, Manitoba (August 8, 2015) class= Gallery: Juanita Kopp (left) and Clayton Robbins (right) during a tour on September 10, 2015 class= Gallery: Chicory after the covercrop was removed on July 27, 2016 class= Gallery: Baling the covercrop from the high energy grasses on July 28, 2016 class= Gallery: The MBFI cattle grazing the energy dense annual forages in October of 2016 class=

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