Why is this research important for Alberta ag?
Low yields in old hay and pasture stands are due to low soil nutrient supply, legume death, and weed invasion. This results in breaking, reduced forage supply, and soil carbon (SOC) loss. Fertilizer costs, older stands, and low legume content have contributed to low hay yields over 40 years across western Canada.
This research will study how to increase forage yields of old hay and pasture stands by inter-seeding legumes, determine the last cost and the best legume fit for stand renovation, and ascertain if trends in forage productivity and soil health differ between hayed and grazed systems with and without legumes in old and new stands.
What benefits can producers expect from this research?
Better understanding of limitations to yield on old and new hay and pasture stands means improved yields on existing stands. This also leads to lower input costs, reduced feed costs for the beef industry, and reduced breaking of old stands, reducing loss of SOC stocks.
How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?
Several knowledge transfer activities will be determined in consultation with an extension committee consisting of extension professionals and farmers.