Tarlok Singh Sahota, Thunder Bay Agric. Research Assn., Thunder Bay, ON, CANADA and Harjit S Dhillon, Research, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association, Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Spring barley and corn are the two annual forage crops grown in northwestern Ontario. Winter cereals could offer an alternative to barley and corn for forage production. A field experiment with 12 treatments, replicated four times, in Completely Randomized Block Design was conducted at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, during 2009-2012. Treatments included winter rye (Common # 1) and triticale (Luoma), seeded at 10 days interval between August 25-September 5, winter wheat (CDC Falcon and CDC Buteo) and winter barley (McKellar) seeded on September 5 and spring barley (Cyane; as a check). Averaged over three years, the results revealed that highest forage dry matter yield (DMY) from winter rye (10.93 Mg ha-1) and triticale (11.25 Mg ha-1) were obtained with August 25 seeding. Forage DMY from CDC Falcon (11.81 Mg ha-1) was 1.15 Mg ha-1 higher than that from CDC Buteo. Forage DMY from winter (5.82 Mg ha-1) or spring (5.55 Mg ha-1) barley were similar. CDC Falcon recorded the highest grain yield (5.31 Mg ha-1; 0.94-2.06 Mg ha-1 higher than winter rye, 0.95-2.03 Mg ha-1 higher than triticale and 0.60 Mg ha-1 higher than CDC Buteo wheat). Grain yields from winter and spring barley were 3.98 Mg ha-1 and 3.52 Mg ha-1, respectively. Luoma, seeded on August 25/or September 5 produced the highest straw yield (>10.73 Mg ha-1) that was at least 2.50 Mg ha-1 greater than that of rye/or wheat. Winter and spring barley forage equaled in protein content (12.8 %), ADF (30/29 %), NDF (45), TDN (66 %) and NEL (1.49/1.51 Mcal kg-1); NEM was higher in winter barley and NEG somewhat higher in spring barley. Luoma had the highest forage protein content (12.2 %) with September 15 seeding and rye (11.0 %) with September 25 seeding. Winter cereals, especially triticale and barley, could be a good option for forage production in northwestern Ontario!