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PFRA Identifies Forage Varieties that Perform Well Under Manure Fertilization

by 5m Editor
2 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1416. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1416

Research conducted by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration has identified several forage species that appear to thrive on sandy soils fertilized with swine manure.

The research, which is being funded through the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative and the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, is attempting to determine which forage species are best suited to hog manure fertilizer.

PFRA Soil Conservationist Steve Sager says scientists have evaluated 18 different forage species and mixtures to assess their adaptability to the sandy soils of southeastern Manitoba.

"In our treatments we had four different rates. There's a check where we didn't apply any manure then we had treatments of 100 pounds per acre, 200 pounds per acre and 300 pounds per acre of nitrogen that's contained in the manure.

The yields have varied from year to year depending on moisture but we've been, in our trials, getting yields upwards of three to three and a half ton per acre on sandy soils.

The species that have done well are the Tall Fescue, Timothy, Creeping Red Fescue, Orchard Grass and Reed Canary Grass.

One thing to note is we haven't had a lot of success so far with some of the legumes like alfalfa and clover.

As well, our hay and pasture mixtures have done better than our single species treatments."

Sager says there is limited research into which forage species will respond well to hog manure fertilization.

He says, considering the amount of hog industry expansion, especially in southeastern Manitoba, this research is particularly timely.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor