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Effects of annual and perennail forage systems on plant and soil parameters, grazing animal performance and system economics

Alberta Beef Producers

Karin Schmid

2018 - 2023

Goal: Biodiversity, Financial Viability, Greenhouse Gas

Audience: Cow-Calf

Project Type: Demonstration

Location: Canada

Increasing land values means producers need to produce more off the same or smaller land base. Knowledge on perennial and annual forage mixtures including their yield, animal performance and cost to establish, paired with soil health, nutrient cycling and methane emission levels is novel and needed. Soil-water-plant-animal interactions are complex and often not examined together resulting in a fragmented understanding of grazing ecosystems. Given the differences that exist between perennial and annual forages and between grass and legume species, the project objectives will be to evaluate forage yield (biomass), grazing animal performance, stand persistence, soil and water parameters, enteric methane emissions, C sequestration, nutrient (N, C) dynamics and cycling and system costs of four different mixtures (2 perennial and 2 annual). This project will use a collaborative, multi- disciplinary approach to measure, monitor and compare these interactions in perennial and annual forage binary mixtures.

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