Ministry of Agriculture

Central BC Forage Recommendations

     Prepared by J. N. Tingle, P.Ag.


Cultivated Pasture Mixtures

  Crop Variety Seeding Rate (lb/Ac )
1 Clay soil or good soil moisture conditions.
  Orchardgrass AC Nordic, Arctic, Kay, or Okay 5
  Bromegrass Bravo, Manchar, Paddock or Rebound 3
  Timothy Climax,  Richmond, Tiller, Timpro,Titan, or Tuukka 2
  Alsike Clover Aurora or Tetra 2
Paddock meadow bromegrass is preferred under irrigation.   Smooth bromegrass is preferred for dryland renovation without re-seeding.
2 Dryland or light soil conditions.
  Orchardgrass AC Nordic, Arctic, Kay, or Okay 5
  Bromegrass Bravo, Manchar, Paddock or Rebound 4
  Alfalfa (AC Grazeland), Peace, Pickseed 3006, Rangelander, or Runner 2(4)
Substitute single cut red clover for alfalfa with pH lower than 5.9.  AC Grazeland alfalfa was developed with reduced bloating parameter; seeding rate of AC Grazeland may be increased to 4 lbs to increase feed quality.

Orchardgrass survival is adversely affected by close grazing and by nutrient deficiency, especially of nitrogen, potassium and sulfur. Rotational grazing and soil tests are therefore very important. Alfalfa productivity is also affected by fall grazing height (retain 6 to 10" stubble for trapping snow) and by critical nutrient deficiencies (phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and boron).

Weed control can often be accomplished by clipping pastures prior to seed set. Many new herbicide combinations are being released for pasture so refer to the BC Field Crop Guide or contact your district agriculturist.

Several methods exist to renovate your pasture without complete tillage. Overseeding of orchardgrass &/or clovers is often successful with trampling of well-grazed pasture. Use of the Aer-way implement in combination with an application of nitrogen fertilizer has been very successful in renovating sod-bound smooth bromegrass and timothy.

Zero-tillage with Roundup spray offers cheaper renovation than ploughing and offers major improvements in soil health by increasing soil organic matter and microbial populations.  A factsheet on minimum tillage "Direct Seeding for Perennial Forage Crops" can be found on the ministry website.

Fall Pasture Mixtures

  Crop Variety Seeding Rate (lb/Ac )
3 Fall  Pasture
  Orchardgrass AC Nordic, Arctic, Kay, or Okay 4
  Tall Fescue Courtenay
8
  Alfalfa (AC Grazeland), Peace, Rangelander or Runner 2(4)
Courtenay is the only tall fescue variety sufficiently winterhardy to consistently survive in the Highway 16 area of British Columbia.
Substitute red clover for afalfa on soils with pH lower than 5.9.
AC Grazeland alfalfa was developed with reduced bloating parameter; seeding rate of AC Grazeland may be increased to 4 lbs to increase feed quality.

 

4. Annual Fall Pasture Mixture

In areas with good moisture conditions in August-September, annual ryegrass can provide nutritious fall pasture. Underseed barley silage or oat hay with 15 - 20 lbs/acre of Aubade or Max annual ryegrass in early spring and harvest the cereal at the soft dough stage. The ryegrass will continue growing until killing frost.  A split application of nitrogen is recommended to enhance fall pasture growth.

5. Winter Grazing Mixture (Swath Grazing)

Plant 100 lbs. of oats/acre by mid-June and swath the crop in mid-October to provide dry cow feed in December, with less than 20" of snow. (This is not likely to provide sufficient nutrition for early-calving beef operations, however this practice provides sufficient nutrition for mid to late-calving beef operations.)

Hay and/or Silage Mixtures

  Crop Variety Seeding Rate
(lb/Ac )
6 Standard Mixture for clay soils.
  Red Clover Altaswede 3
  Alsike Clover Aurora, Dawn, or Tetra 3
  Timothy Alma, Climax, Tiller, Timpro, or Tuukka 3
  Bromegrass Bravo, Carlton, Magna, Rebound, or Signal 4
Alsike clover should not be used for horse mixtures. Refer to Alsike Clover Toxicity in Horses for control recommendations.
Red clover is difficult to cure for hay.
 
7 Mixture for well drained soils
  Alfalfa Abby, Algonquin, Nemesis, Peace, Pickseed 2065 MF,  Pickseed 8924 MF, or Rangelander 6
  Alsike Clover Aurora, Dawn,or Tetra 2
  Timothy Alma, Climax, Tiller, Timpro, Titan,or Tuukka 2
  Bromegrass Bravo, Carlton, Magna, Rebound, or Signal 3
Alfalfa is recommended only for well-drained sites and soils with pH > 5.9
Alsike clover should not be used for horse mixtures. Refer to Alsike Clover Toxicity in Horses for control recommendations.
 
8 Mixture for well drained soils, better regrowth than previous 2 mixes.
  Alfalfa Abby, Algonquin, Nemesis, Peace, Pickseed 2065 MF, or Pickseed 8925 MF 8
  Orchardgrass AC Nordic, Arctic, Kay, or Okay 5
  Timothy Alma, Climax, Richmond, Tiller, Timpro, Titan,or Tuukka            2
 
9 Pure Alfalfa
  Alfalfa Abby, Nemesis, Peace, Pickseed 2065 MF, or Pickseed 8925 MF 10
Peace and Rangelander alfalfa are preferred for winter hardiness. Abby, Nemesis or Pickseed 2065 MF alfalfa are preferred for verticillium wilt resistance.  For higher yields/shorter lived stands with minimum tillage use Abby, Nemesis, Pickseed 2065 MF or Pickseed 8925 MF.  A factsheet on minimum tillage "Direct Seeding for Perennial Forage Crops" can be found on the ministry website. Alfalfa Disease Resistance Ratings can be found on the ministry website.
 
10 Short-lived (3-4 years) high quality feed. Better protein content than timothy or orchardgrass mixtures.
  Alfalfa Abby, Blazer XL, Nemesis, Peace, Pickseed 2065 MF, or Pickseed 8925 MF 8
  Intermediate Wheatgrass
or Pubescent Wheatgrass
Chief IW,  Clarke IW, or Greenleaf PW 5
 
11 For wet meadow or poorly drained areas
  Reedcanarygrass Palaton, or Rival 6
  Alsike Clover Aurora, or Tetra 4

Silage Mixtures

  Crop Variety Seeding Rate
(lb/Ac )
12 Early Maturing - Use for early maturing mixture to spread harvest season.
  Alsike Clover Aurora , Dawn, or Tetra 4
  Timothy Richmond, Tiller, Timpro,  Titan, or Tuukka 1
  Bromegrass Bravo, Carlton, Manchar, Paddock, Rebound, or Signal 4
  Orchardgrass AC Nordic, Arctic, Kay, or Okay 4
 
13 Late Maturing - High protein but short lived legume in mixture; best suited to acid clay soils.
  Red Clover Altaswede 6
  Timothy Climax, Comtrol, Drummond, Timpro,  Titan, or Tuukka 4
Substitute Peace or Rangelander alfalfa for red clover on well-drained sites with pH>5.9. Ensure that boron levels are adequate for alfalfa growth.
 
14 For heavy textured or wet soils.
  Red Clover Altaswede or Norlac 6
  Reedcanarygrass Bellevue, Palaton, or Rival  6
Cut when red clover is in the bud stage.
 
15 Grain Silage
  Barley AC Lacombe, Brier, Kasota, Mahigan, or Virden 60
  Oats AC Morgan, Calibre, Cascade, or Waldren 40

Zero-tillage with Roundup spray offers cheaper renovation than ploughing and offers major improvements in soil health by increasing soil organic matter and microbial populations.  A factsheet on minimum tillage "Direct Seeding for Perennial Forage Crops" can be found on the ministry website.


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