Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

19. Forage Production in Adverse Weather

82 views

Published on

Ontario has experienced some challenging conditions. Make your forage production system more resilient. Christine O’Reilly, OMAFRA

Published in: Food
  • Login to see the comments

  • Be the first to like this

19. Forage Production in Adverse Weather

  1. 1. Forage Production in Adverse Weather Christine O’Reilly Forage and Grazing Specialist, OMAFRA Eastern Ontario Crops Conference Kemptville, ON February 12, 2019
  2. 2. All our forages are stressed • Tough seeding year conditions • Tough production year conditions • Pests and diseases • Crop management practices How can we reduce stress in 2019?
  3. 3. Fertility Economic response to fertilizer below: 12 ppm P 120 ppm K High removal rates: 23 kg N/tonne DM 6.1 kg P2O5/tonne DM 23.5 kg K2O/tonne DM 2.5 kg S/tonne DMPhoto: OMAFRA Soil Fertility Handbook
  4. 4. Phosphorus and alfalfa • P is critical for roots and energy • Deficiency shows as slowed growth, spindly plants, small dark blue- green leaves • Low soil P negatively affects winter survival Arizona College of Agricultural and Life Sciences – Cooperative Extension
  5. 5. Potassium and alfalfa • K – critical for enzymes, water regulation and winter survival • Deficiency shows as yellow/white spots along leaf margins (older leaves) • Subject to luxury consumption
  6. 6. Sulphur and alfalfa • High uptake and removal: >5 lbs S/ton • Early season demand – impact of cool, wet spring? • Deficiency can have significant effect on yield
  7. 7. 1.6x 2.3x 2.6x
  8. 8. 2.8x 4.0x 9.5x
  9. 9. Feed your forages!
  10. 10. Without added fertility: ↓ P 3.3 ppm, ↓ K 27 ppm
  11. 11. Fertility • Right source • Right rate • Right time • Right place
  12. 12. Cutting Height Plants need energy to regrow. Two sources: 1. Photosynthesis (easy) 2. Draw on root reserves (harder)
  13. 13. Cutting Height If leaves are left behind, the plant can still photosynthesize to fuel regrowth
  14. 14. Cutting Height Without leaves the plant must draw on root reserves, which is slower and causes more stress.
  15. 15. What Does the Research Say? Minimum height fine when no other stressors. Species Minimum Cut Height Alfalfa 2.5 cm (1”) Fall = 10 cm (4”) for snow Cool-season grasses 10 cm (4”) est. 7.5 cm (3”) prod. Warm-season grasses 10 cm (4”)
  16. 16. What Does the Research Say? Low cut height (alfalfa): • ↑ yield 0.5 tons DM/acre per inch Wiersma, 2000 • ↓ quality ~4 RFV points per inchWiersma and Wiederholt, 2001 • ↑ risk of soil contamination – 1% ↑ in ash = 1% ↓ in TDN – Equal to delaying 1st cut by 4.5 daysBlank, Orloff, & Putnam, 2001 • Can reduce stand longevity
  17. 17. Raise the cutting height in 2019!
  18. 18. Cutting Schedule Forage crops grow leaves before they refill their root reserves
  19. 19. http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1350&title=Alfalfa%20Management%20in %20Georgia
  20. 20. What Does the Research Say? • ↑ # of harvests = ↓ root reserves • Persistence improves when alfalfa is cut between 1st flower and 25% bloom Alfalfa Management Guide, ASA • Timing of fall harvest is important; can ↓ spring yields https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A336/welcome.html
  21. 21. Cutting Schedule Breaking dormancy Forage crops rely on root reserves for early spring growth
  22. 22. Cutting Schedule
  23. 23. What Causes Winter Kill? • Flooding • Ice sheeting • Heaving – Dries out crowns – Breaks taproot • Other stressors (weather, nutrient deficiencies, harvest management, pests, diseases) Oxygen starvation
  24. 24. Alfalfa Stand Assessment Plant Count Method (per ft2) Stand Age Good Stand Consider Replacement Seeding Year 25-40 <15 1st year >12 <8 2nd year >8 <5 3rd year >6 <4 4th year or older >4 <3
  25. 25. Source: Undersander and Cosgrove, 2007
  26. 26. Photo: Scott Banks
  27. 27. Scouting Alfalfa Plant Counts & Root Health Stem Counts Weekly Field Walks Pest-specific Scouting Assess Feed Quality Plan Next Crop Plant Counts P&K Application Spring Summer FallWinter
  28. 28. Scouting Alfalfa
  29. 29. Production Insurance • Forage Rainfall Plan • Forage New Seeding Plan • Silage Corn • Cereal Silage 1-888-247-4999
  30. 30. Things You Can Do: • Feed the crop • Raise the cutter bar • Adjust harvest timing • Timely termination (assess the stand annually) • Scout during the growing season • Manage risk with insurance
  31. 31. Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
  32. 32. Thank You Christine O’Reilly Forage and Grazing Specialist christine.oreilly@ontario.ca 705-324-5855 Twitter: @OReilly_Ag www.fieldcropnews.com

×