West-Central Forage Association

Perennial Forage Trials

Site Inspection July 5 (14).JPG

Perennial Forage Trials 

The majority of the annual feed requirement comes from mixed stands of perennial grasses and legumes, therefore managing these forage resources is very important. Establishing and maintaining a successful hay-land or grazing stand requires significant investment and good management. Selecting varieties which are easy to establish and are resilient while providing high yield and quality can improve net returns for producers. 

WCFA regularly evaluates a number of perennial forages and perennial forage mixtures for regional establishment, persistence, dry matter yield and nutritional quality.  to provide producers in the west-central area with information needed to make informed management decisions regarding their perennial forage stands and tailor appropriate blends for the region. 









2020-2022 Trial Information

14 grass cultivars, 16 alfalfa cultivars, 2 sainfoin varieties, 2 cicer milkvetch varieties and 14 grass/legume mixtures will be evaluated at the Yellowhead County Research site (SE 27-53-09-W5). Nine additional sites will be evaluated throughout Alberta by other Applied Research Associations. 

Grasses Alfalfa Sainfoin Mixtures
AC Admiral, Meadow Brome 2010 Alfalfa AAC Glenview Fleet/Yellowhead
AC Knowles, Hybrid Brome AC Grazeland AC Mountainview Success/Yellowhead
AC Saltlander, Green Wheatgrass AC Yellowhead   Knowles/Yellowhead
AC Success, Hybrid Brome Assalt DT Cicer Milkvetch Fleet/Spredor 5
Blizzard, Orchardgrass Dalton Oxley 2 Success/Spredor 5
Cache, Meadow Brome Halo Veldt Knowles/Spredor 5
Courtney, Tall Fescue Halo 2   Fleet/Yellowhead/Mountainview
Fleet, Meadow Brome Phabalous   Success/Yellowhead/Mountainview
Greenleaf, Pubescent Wheatgrass PV Parlour HG (440 Alfalfa)   Fleet/Yellowhead/Mountainview/Veldt
Grinstad, Timothy PV Ultima   Success/Yellowhead/Mountainview/Veldt
Killarney, Orchardgrass Rambler   Fleet/Greenleaf/Yellowhead
Kirk, Crested Wheatgrass Rangelander   Success/Greenleaf/Yellowhead
Nabucco, Italian Ryegrass Rugged   Salinemaster
Rendita, Italian Ryegrass Spider   Legumeaster
  Spredor 4    
  Spredor 5    

2020 Observations

2020 will serve as the establishment year for the trial. Seeding occurred July 21, 28 and 29, 2020 due to wet field conditions. Emergence counts were conducted at 7, 14 and 21 days post-seeding. Initial mortality counts were conducted at 70 days post-seeding. In subsequent years persistence, yield and nutritional quality will be evaluated. 


2016-2018 Trial Information

11 grass cultivars, 14 legume cultivars and 9 grass/legume mixtures were evaluated over a three year period at the Yellowhead County Research site (SE 27-53-09-W5). Eight additional sites were evaluated throughout Alberta by other Applied Research Associations. 

Grasses Legumes Mixes
Fleet Meadow Brome Assalt ST Alfalfa Fleet/Admiral
AC Admiral Hybrid Brome Dalton Alfalfa Success/Yellowhead
Success Hybrid Brome 20-10 Alfalfa Admiral/Yellowhead
Knowles Hybrid Brome Halo Alfalfa Fleet/Spredor 5 
Greenleaf Pubescent Wheatgrass Rugged Alfalfa Success/Spredor 5 
Kirk Crested Wheatgrass Spredor 4 Alfalfa Admiral/Spredor 5 
AC Saltlander Green Wheatgrass Spredor 5 Alfalfa Fleet/Mountainview 
Tom Russian Wildrye Yellowhead Alfalfa Success/Mountainview 
Killarney Orchardgrass PV Ultima Alfalfa Admiral/Mountainview
Grinstad Timothy 44-44 Alfalfa  
Fojtan Festulolium Mountainview Sainfoin  
Courtney Tall Fescue Nova Sainfoin  
  Veldt Cicer Milkvetch  
  Oxley 2 Cicer Milkvetch  

2016 Observations 

Seeding occurred on June 7, 2016. No emergence counts were taken due to the amount of weed pressure. As 2016 was the establishment year no yield or quality data was collected.  Note: pure legume stands did not establish at the site. 

2017 Observations 

Stand establishment was good for the perennial grasses and grass/legume mixtures despite pest and weed pressure and lack of moisture early in the summer. Plant counts, height measurements, yield and quality data collected. 

2018 Observations

Stand establishment was good for the perennial grasses and grass/legume mixes. It is worth mentioning that sainfoin plants were not found in the plots. Plant counts, height measurements, yield and quality data collected. 

To view the full report please download the PDF below:

2016-2018 Perennial Forages Trial Report