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  1. Vol. 46 No. 5, p. 1981-1989
     
    Received: June 21, 2005
    Published: Sept, 2006


    * Corresponding author(s): sulc.2@osu.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2006.0140

Yield and Nutritive Value of Autumn-Seeded Winter-Hardy and Winter-Sensitive Annual Forages

  1. John S. McCormick,
  2. R. Mark Sulc *,
  3. David J. Barker and
  4. James E. Beuerlein
  1. Dep. of Horticulture & Crop Science, The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

Abstract

Winter-hardy small grains produce abundant forage in the spring, but have low forage yield in autumn in the U.S. Midwest. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of mixing annual forages with winter-hardy small grains to improve forage supplies in late autumn without compromising yield the following spring. Field studies were established in mid-September 2001 and 2002 at two locations in Ohio to compare autumn and spring forage yield and nutritive value of the winter-hardy species (WHS) rye (Secale cereale L.), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and winter triticale (Triticum × Secale) seeded alone and in binary mixtures with the winter-sensitive species (WSS) oat (Avena sativa L.), spring triticale (Triticum × Secale), annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.), and rape (Brassica napus L.). The WHS + WSS mixtures had greater forage yield in autumn than the corresponding WHS monocultures in 29 of 44 comparisons. Oat and spring triticale mixtures with WHS usually had the greatest autumn yield, greater than the yield of corresponding WHS monocultures in 91% of all comparisons. Forage yield of mixtures was usually similar to that of WHS monocultures in the spring. Forage nutritive value was high for all treatments. Oat, spring triticale, and rape were productive species to include with WHS for optimizing autumn and spring forage yield, but oat and rape had low seed cost ha−1, and thus were the most economical options.

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