The suitability of cool and warm season annual cereal species for winter grazing in Saskatchewan
Cool and warm season annuals were seeded at Agri-Arm sites across Saskatchewan over three years to compare their suitability for winter grazing. Two seeding dates, eleven crops and two harvest times were used. The crops in this trial have significant differences in maturity. As expected, dry matter yield of the cool season annual cereals (oat, barley) tended to decrease with the later seeding date. Delayed seeding also decreased the yield of Golden German millet (foxtail millet) at two site years. Golden German millet had yields that were higher than oat at three site years, lower than oat at three site years and similar at 4 site years. Delaying the harvest lowered the protein level of all the crops. Seeding date did not consistently affect protein. Corn had significantly lower levels of protein than the other crops. As harvest was delayed forage biomass of the crops increased especially oat and barley. Weathering in the windrow until December had very little effect on the crude protein. Total digestible nutrients were not consistently affected by seeding date or harvest time. Temperature seemed to have a larger effect on the productivity of the warm season annuals than moisture. Golden German millet is well adapted for swath grazing on the eastern side of Saskatchewan. More data is required to determine its adaptability in central and western Saskatchewan.
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