Weather data summary for the 2006-growing season

Alfalfa Trials

Performance summary – Standard trials (insecticide applied)

South Charleston, Ohio – 2003 Seeding

Wooster, Ohio – 2003 Seeding

North Baltimore, Ohio – 2004 Seeding

Jackson, Ohio –2004 Seeding

South Charleston, Ohio – 2005 Seeding

Wooster, Ohio – 2006 Seeding

Potato Leafhopper Resistant Trials

South Charleston, Ohio and Ames, Iowa – 2006 Seeding

South Charleston, Ohio and Ames, Iowa – 2005 Seeding

Red Clover Trial

S. Charleston, Ohio - 2006 Seeding.

Grass Trials

Orchardgrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2003 Seeding

Orchardgrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2006 Seeding

Annual Ryegrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2005 Seeding

Annual Ryegrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2006 Fall Seeding

Tall Fescue Variety Trial – Jackson, Ohio – 2004 Seeding

Perennial Ryegrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio –2005 Seeding

Address of Marketers

Download files of yield data for 2006:

All Yield Trials - PDF for Printing

Alfalfa Yield Trials - Excel

Grass Yield Trial - Excel

Red Clover Yield Trial - Excel

Forage Variety Trials in Other States

Forage Quality and Disease Information from Wisconsin and Minnesota


2006 Ohio Forage Performance Trials

J.S. McCormick Research Associate, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
R.M. Sulc Extension
Forage Agronomist, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
L.H. Rhodes Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology
D. J. Barker Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
Keith A. Diedrick Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Clarence Renk Manager, Western ARS, OARDC
Joe Davlin Assistant Manager, Western ARS, OARDC
Eugene Balthaser Manager, Jackson ARS, OARDC
Matt Davis Manager, Northwest ARS, OARDC
Lynn Ault
Manager, Schaffter Farm, Wooster, OARDC


This report is a summary of performance data collected from forage variety trials in Ohio during 2006. This report includes performance of commercial varieties of alfalfa, orchardgrass, tall fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass in tests planted in 2003 to 2006 across four sites in Ohio: South Charleston, North Baltimore, Wooster, and Jackson. For more details on forage species and management, see the Ohio Agronomy Guide, Ohio State University Extension Bulletin 472, (available online at http://ohioline.osu.edu/b472/0008.html).

 Interpreting Yield Data in this Report

Least significant differences (LSD) are listed at the bottom of the tables along with the trial average (mean).  Differences between varieties are statistically significant if the difference is equal to or greater than the LSD value.  For example, if a variety yields more than another variety by the LSD value, then we are 95% sure that the yield difference is real, with only a 5% probability that the difference is due to chance alone.  Results reported here should be representative of what might occur throughout the state but would be most applicable under environmental and management conditions similar to those at the testing sites.    

Summary of 2006 Growing Conditions

The growing season began with above normal average daily temperatures in April. Temperatures were below normal in May, June, September, and October. There were some periods of below normal rainfall, but total rainfall for the season was above normal, which lead to high forage yields in all trials.   


Forage yields in 2006 were higher than those in 2005 except in the 2003 seeded trials. The 2004 seeding at North Baltimore had the highest yields, averaging 9.7 tons/acre with two varieties breaking the 10 ton/acre mark for the first time in the history of the Ohio Alfalfa Performance Trials. Alfalfa weevil populations were low at all sites and no insecticide was required for their control.  Insecticide applications were used at all locations for control of potato leafhopper (PLH) in the standard yield trials.

No insecticide was applied to control potato leafhopper in the Regional Alfalfa Yield Trial for Potato Leafhopper Resistance conducted at South Charleston, OH and Ames, IA. Leafhopper populations were very high at South Charleston but low in Iowa, giving an overall average PLH effect on yield across the two sites. Significant yield differences were observed among varieties in response to PLH injury. Leafhopper resistant varieties are not resistant to alfalfa weevil, and will need to be treated with insecticides if weevil populations exceed action thresholds.


Yield in 2006 was slightly higher than in 2005. Orchardgrass varieties differed greatly in yield over the season, and in maturity at the first harvest. The new 2006 seeded trial also yielded very well. Orchardgrass is one of the most productive cool-season grasses grown in Ohio.

Tall Fescue

The tall fescue trial of endophyte-free varieties established at Jackson in 2004 had higher yields in 2006 than in 2005. New varieties that are endophyte free or that contain a non-toxic endophyte (eg., Jessup Max Q) have potential to increase animal performance during the summer grazing season and to provide forage for beef cattle and sheep during autumn and early winter.

Perennial Ryegrass

The perennial ryegrass trial at South Charleston also had good yields, averaging 6.3 tons/acre. Varieties differed widely in yield (3.7 to 8.9 tons/acre) and maturity. Perennial ryegrass (diploid and tetraploid) is the most winter hardy of the ryegrass types. Tetraploid varieties usually have larger leaves, fewer but larger tillers, produce a more open growth (less ground cover), and tend to have higher digestibility than diploid varieties. Diploids tend to have finer leaves and produce more tillers. A couple of varieties in the ryegrass trial were festuloliums, which are crosses between annual ryegrass and fescue. They generally are more winter-hardy and slightly more drought tolerant than perennial ryegrass.

Annual Ryegrass 

Total forage yields in the annual ryegrass trial seeded September 2005 ranged from 0.83 to 7.2 tons/acre among varieties, partially due to large differences in winter injury (note % stand density in May). A new trial was seeded September 2006, and one harvest was obtained from that trial in early November. Winter survival and yield will be evaluated in that trial in 2007. Annual ryegrass is a cool-season annual bunch grass that is highly palatable and digestible. It has high seedling vigor and is well adapted to either conventional or no-till establishment methods.

Inclusion of entries in Ohio Alfalfa Performance Trials does not constitute an endorsement of a particular entry by The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, or Ohio State University Extension. Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement is implied by The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, or Ohio State University Extension.

Go to Ohio Crop Performance

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Keith L. Smith, Director, Ohio State University Extension.


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