In 2017 WCFA initiated a cocktail crop demonstration at both our Wildwood and Brazeau County Forage Research Sites.
Cocktail crops have traditionally been used to help hold the soil when transitioning between different types of cash crops, and are often plowed down before planting the next crop to add organic material and fertility to the soil. Farmers with livestock often select cover crops that can be grazed, adding an additional benefit as feed and the advantage of additional nutrients from animal manure (Canadian Cattlemen June 13, 2016).
Seeding is one of the most important aspects of cover crops and there has been a lot of work done on different seeding methods (i.e. drill, air seeding, sod, and no-till drill) however not so much on broadcasting seed with incorporation. This one-year trial demonstrated the yield of different blends and pure stands of cocktail crops when two seeding systems are used: Disc Drill and Broadcast.
Determine yield and quality differences on cocktail crops utilizing two different seeding systems (broadcasting and disc drilling)
2017 Trial Summary
The trial was seeded using a small plot Fabro disc seeder. Seed was either placed directly using the seed drill (disc drill treatment) or were 'broadcast' on by undoing the hoses on the seeder and allowing the seeds to fall on the ground (broadcast treatment). Seeding was conducted on June 5, 2017.
11 different varieties were seeded (each variety was replicated three times for each of the seeding methods). Varieties used were:
*For information on what is contained in each of these mixes please refer to the report below.
The plots faced significant moisture during the growing season, as well as fairly significant amounts of weed pressure. Yield data was collected on September 27 & 28, 2017 at the Wildwood site only. Samples were sent to A&L Canada Labs for quality analysis.
To view the full report please download the PDF below.