WISCONSIN FORAGE COUNCIL COORDINATED DEMONSTRATION TRIALS

 

PROJECT 1:    EFFECT OF AM VERSUS PM HARVEST ON ALFALFA QUALITY

 

This is based on data presented at the WFC Annual Symposium by Hank Mayland which showed significantly higher non-structural carbohydrates in afternoon versus morning cut hay. Animals showed a strong preference for the afternoon cut forage. Much of this  work was done in Idaho and we would like to know if the effect is observed under Wisconsin conditions as well. In addition, this work was done using dry hay. Are these differences as apparent in haylage? Participants are invited to sample either dry hay, haylage or both.

 

PROTOCOL

 

Select uniform area of field.

 

Cut alfalfa at sunup and sundown or as close to these time as practical.

 

Sample alfalfa hay:

 

1.                  Immediately after cutting.

 

Secure approximately ˝ pound (wet weight)sample from 3 separate areas

 

2.                  During baling.

 

Secure approximately ˝ pound sample from 3 separate areas

 

3.                  When fed.

 

Take one sample consisting of 20 subsamples

 

Sample haylage

 

1.                  Immediately after cutting.

 

Secure approximately ˝ pound (wet weight)sample from 3 separate areas

 

2.                  During chopping.

 

Secure approximately ˝ pound (wet weight)sample from 3 separate areas

 

3.                  After ensiling (3 – 4 weeks).

 

Secure approximately ˝ pound (wet weight)sample from 3 separate areas

 

 

Sampling haylage would most easily be done by using silo tubes. Location of AM vs PM haylage can be marked with paint on the tubes. Ensiled samples may be taken by poking a hole in the tube then resealing with tape.

 

 

 

Other considerations:

 

 

1)         need to take fresh sample and freeze fast or respiration will reduce CHO

levels

 

2)         need to analyze for sugars and starch.  NFC has too large an error to

measure the differences (1%) we are talking about here.  Dan is setting up an

NIR equation for sugar and starch.  It will be ready this fall. If the Marshfield lab

does the analysis and is notified they will send Dan the spectra and he can return CHO

readings this fall.

 

 

 

PROJECT 2:    IMPACT OF LEAFHOPPERS ON LEAFHOPPER RESISTANT AND SUSCEPTIBLE ALFALFA WHEN SEEDED UNDER OATS

 

The value of using leafhopper resistant alfalfa has been questioned considering the current levels of resistance available. One of the places where the value of these varieties has not been thoroughly examined is under an oat companion crop. In these instances, leafhopper damage is not readily observed and spraying is typically not an option.

 

PROTOCOL

 

Treatments

 

1.         Leafhopper resistant  (at least 50%) alfalfa seeded with oats

 

2.         Leafhopper susceptible alfalfa seeded with oats

 

Note: A valuable “check” would be to seed variety without oats, with leafhoppers controlled in half and not in the other half. This may be difficult for many however.

 

Plot size may vary depending on equipment and space available.

 

Ratings for leafhopper damage will be made twice during the season, once with oats present and once after oats are removed.

 

            Rating Scale; 1 = no damage     10 = severe damage

 

Height of eachctype of alfalfa (even under oats) each time harvested.  Height seem to be a

good indicator if the alfalfa was damaged enough to effect yield.

 

Yields will be determined on:

 

            Oatlage (if taken)

 

            Alfalfa harvested after oatlage harvest

 

            Season total forage yield.

 

Stand counts or visual percentage should be taken in September.

 

 

PROJECT 3:    SULFUR SURVEY VIA PLANT ANALYSIS

 

 

1.      Select field

·                                1-3 year-old good to excellent stand

·                                no manure for 3 years

·                                no sulfur fertilizer for 3 years

 

2.      Obtain field history

·                                Soil type

·                                Approximate location (legal description not necessary)

·                                Variety, month and year of seeding

·                                Fertilizer applied for past 2 years

·                                Date and approximate rate of last manure application

 

3.      Take soil sample to 2 feet (3 core minimum) just before 2nd or 3rd cut in 3 increments (0-6”; 6-12”; 12-24”).

 

4.      Take plant tissue sample (40 stems top 6-8”) just before second or third harvest (late bud to early flower).  Record stage of growth.

 

5.      Submit samples and history to Keith Kelling’s lab (trying for 400 over 2-year period).

 

 

 

PROJECT 4:    CORN SILAGE PLANT POPULATIONS

 

This project will attempt to obtain data concerning optimum plant populations for corn silage in terms of yield and crop quality.

 

Protocol

 

Plant corn at the following populations:

 

            18000, 24000, 30000, 36000 and 42000

 

At the end of season determine:

 

            Yield

            ADF, NDF and CP