Monday, December 22, 2008

December issue of the Amazing Graze Newsletter now posted

The December issue of the Amazing Graze Newsletter is now posted on the Ohio Forage Network website. Follow the newsletter link. In this issue you will find articles entitled: Reducing Feeding Losses for Large Round Bales, “Forage” Oat Update, 2008 Ohio Forage Performance Trials, The Heart of America Grazing Conference.

Be sure to check out the Events Page for grazing/forage related events in the next few months and even into next year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

2008 Ohio Forage Performance Trials

The 2008 Forage Performance Trials Report is now available. It has been published in a special supplement to Ohio’s Country Journal, but is also online at and can be requested at any Ohio State University Extension office.

The report includes the performance of varieties of alfalfa, red clover, orchardgrass, tall fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass, teff, sorghum x sudangrass, sudangrass, and forage sorghum in tests planted in 2005 to 2008 across three Ohio sites: South Charleston, Wooster, and Jackson.

The alfalfa trial established in 2007 at Wooster had the highest alfalfa yields, averaging 8.3 tons/acre. High yields were also harvested in the Wooster trial seeded in 2006 (7.6 tons/acre) and at South Charleston in 2005 (7.1 tons/acre). Alfalfa weevil populations were low at all sites. Insecticides were used at all locations for control of potato leafhopper (PLH) in the standard yield trials. No insecticide was applied to the potato leafhopper resistance trial planted in April at South Charleston. High leafhopper populations resulted in significant yield differences among the alfalfa varieties in that test. The best varieties yielded 33 to 35% more than the susceptible check varieties in that trial.

Forage yields of red clover were just under 5 tons/acre in 2008, which was remarkable for a third-year stand. The results demonstrate how newer varieties of red clover yield more and persist longer than “common” red clover.

Orchardgrass varieties differed greatly in yield over the season and all varieties went dormant for part of the summer due to dry weather. The tall fescue trial of endophyte-free varieties at Jackson had low yields in 2008, a trend that began in 2007. Only two harvests were collect in 2007 and three in 2008 due to dry weather at Jackson. A perennial ryegrass trial at South Charleston also had low yields in 2008.

Annual ryegrass varieties were evaluated at South Charleston. They were seeded September 2007, and all survived the winter to varying degrees. Large yield differences were recorded, from a low of 1.74 tons/acre to a high of 5.76 tons/acre.

Warm season grass trials were seeded in June 2008 to compare varieties of teff, sorghum x sudangrass, and forage sorghum. The teff varieties yielded 3.3 tons/acre over three cuttings. Sorghum x sudangrass and sudangrass varieties yielded around 4.0 tons/acre in three cuttings. Forage sorghums yielded from 4.0 to 4.7 tons/acre at one single harvest.