2019-122: Development of meadow brome and cicer milkvetch varieties for stockpiled grazing in western Canada
Researcher: Bill Biligetu
Meadow brome has been a very suitable fast-growing grass for late season stockpiling, high forage yield in mid-June, and a higher early spring growth than smooth bromegrass. Cicer milkvetch is a non-bloat legume that maintains its forage quality throughout the growing season. This study will select germplasms that perform greater in late season in terms of forage yield and forage quality for stockpiling purposes. As feeding costs account for 60% of total cost production for beef cattle, lengthening the grazing season can reduce costs for farmers and ranchers in Saskatchewan.
As there are now different regulations in place for forage wheat, this research team has worked to develop high-yielding forage wheat lines. They first evaluated 16 new breeding lines at four sites for 2 years (2020 and 2021), so that they could note each line's agronomic traits and nutritive value. Then, they compared the most promising varieties with a well-used forage barley line (Maverick) and a well-used forage oat line (Haymaker).
In their promising results, they showed that their awnless, high yielding forage wheat variety had a higher lodging resistance and a higher yield their the forage barley and forage oat varieties. They also had a medium to high resistance for disease.
New promising forage varieties are also now in development from this work.