West-Central Forage Association

Cocktail/Cover Crop Trials

Wildwood CC Aug 2017.JPG

Cocktail/Cover Crop Trials 

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. 

WCFA has conducted several cocktail/cover crop trials to evaluate the performance of a number of these crops in the west-central region of Alberta in an effort to provide valuable local information to cattle producers intending to incorporate cocktail/cover crops into their operations. 







2018 Trial Information

10 different annual cocktail/cover crops and six 'alternative' crops were evaluated in 2018 at the Brazeau County and Yellowhead County Research sites. 

Annual Crops  'Alternative' Crops
Union Forage Ultimate Blend Phacelia
Union Forage Relay Blend Chicory
Union Forage All Brassica Blend  Radish
Italian Annual Ryegrass Plaintain
Vivant Red Siberian Millet
Gorilla  Sorghum Sudangrass
NS Double Cover Crop Blend  
Performa Concentrate Blend   
Frosty Berseem Clover  
Fixation Balansa Clover  

Seeding was conducted on June 7, 2018 at the Yellowhead County site and on June 8, 2018 at the Brazeau County site.  

The plots faced an excessive amount of precipitation, at the Yellowhead County site in particular, during the month of July which prevented us from collecting significant samples from each repetition. Yield and quality samples were collected from the Brazeau County site only for the annual crops. Samples were sent to A&L Canada Labs for quality analysis. 

To view the full reports please download the PDF below:

2018 Annual Cover Crops Variety Trial Report 

2018 Alternative Cover Crops Variety Trial Report



2017 Trial Information

Evaluating Broadcast Seeding for Cocktail/Cover Crops

Eleven cocktail/cover crops were evaluated for yield and quality differences resulting from different seeding methods at both the Yellowhead County and Brazeau County Research sites in 2017. Crops were either broadcast on or seeded with a disc drill. 

Winfred Brassica + Hairy Vetch 
Ultimate Annual Mix
Annual Forage Pro
Sorghum Sudangrass
Northstar Blend 
Frosty Berseem Clover
Impact Forage Brassica
Fixation Balansa Clover 
Permiere Forage Kale
Performa Annual Forage Mixture 

Seed was either placed directly using a disc drill or were 'broadcast' on by undoing and allowing the seeds to fall on the ground. Seeding was conducted on June 5, 2017. The plots faced significant moisture and weed pressure during the growing season. Yield data was collected on September 27 & 28, 2017 at the Yellowhead County site only. Samples were sent to A&L Canada Labs for quality analysis. 

To view the full report please download the PDF below: 

2017 Cocktail Crop Demonstration Report