2020 Regional Silage Variety Trials

Alberta’s applied research and forage associations would like to thank Alexander Fedko for coordinating these trials out of CDCN in Edmonton, Alta. for many years. His contributions have been very important in the province wide evaluation of annual crops and preparing reports for the Alberta Seed Guide.  

Participating Organizations 

• Battle River Research Group, Forestburg, Alta. (780) 582 – 7308

• Chinook Applied Research Association, Oyen, Alta. (403) 664-3777

• Gateway Research Organization, Westlock, Alta. (780) 349-4546

• Lakeland Agricultural Research Association, Bonnyville, Alta. (780) 826-7260

• Mackenzie Applied Research Association, Fort Vermilion, Alta. (780) 927-3776 

• North Peace Applied Research Association, Manning, Alta. (780) 836-3354

• Peace Country Beef and Forage, Fairview, Alta. (780) 835-6799

• West Central Forage Association, Sangudo, Alta. (780) 785-3411, ext 3621

Major Sponsors

• Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, CDC North and CAP Program

• A&L Canada Laboratories Inc.

• Alliance Seeds, Canterra Seeds, Davidson Seeds, Degenhardt Farms, Dyck Seed Farm, Elmy’s Friendly Acres Seed Farm, Fabian Seeds, Lindholm Seed Farm, Mastin Seeds, Proven Seeds, SeCan, Solick Seeds, Luc Tellier, H. Warkentin 

Trial Information

Several of Alberta’s applied research and forage associations have evaluated annual crops for biomass yield and feed quality in replicated trials for a number of years. The trials have traditionally included varieties of barley, oat, triticale and pea/cereal mixes but were expanded thanks to funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) in 2020 to include spring cereal/winter cereal mixes as well as a number of alternative annual crops.

The cereal trials, (barley, oats and triticale), were planted at recommended seeding density rates with recommended fertility. The pea/cereal mixture trials were conducted with the intent of increasing the nutritional value of the silage while potentially reducing future nitrogen requirements. These pea/cereal plots were seeded with 55 kg/ha (50 lbs/A) of 11-52-0-0 at 75 and 50 per cent of their respective recommended seeding rates. The target harvest stage for these mixes was the soft dough stage of the cereal. Components of the spring/fall mixes were each seeded at 75 per cent of the rates recommended for individual crops.

Data submitted in 2020 was summarized by crop or crop mixture. Information collected since 2012 has been included in a separate summary below each table. The information is presented as compared to the check variety (in bold). Yield of the test varieties/mixtures are expressed as wet tons/A (ex: 65 per cent moisture, typical of silage production). Data sets which did not meet minimum quality and experimental standards were excluded.  

Test Yield Categories

Low, Medium and High Test Yield Categories (tons per acre) have been defined for each variety and mix. This allows for comparison with the check when growing conditions, management regimes and/or target yields are expected to be of low, medium or high productivity. Caution is advised when interpreting the data of new varieties that have not been fully tested (ex: based on only one- or two-years’ data). It should also be noted the indicated yield levels are those from small plot trials, which can be higher than yields expected under commercial production. When considering a variety for use alone or in a mixed silage blend, be sure to consider the disease resistance and other agronomic attributes that may affect regional productivity.  

Nutritional Analysis

Nutrition information was assessed using NIRS for macro-nutrient assessments and wet chemistry for the micro-nutrients.