Weather data summary for the 2009-growing season

Alfalfa Trials

Performance summary – Standard trials (insecticide applied)

Wooster, Ohio – 2006 Seeding

Wooster, Ohio – 2007 Seeding

South Charleston, Ohio – 2008 Seeding

North Baltimore, Ohio – 2009 Seeding

Potato Leafhopper Resistant Trials

South Charleston, Ohio – 2008 Seeding

Perennial Grass Trials

Orchardgrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2006 Seeding

Tall Fescue Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2008 Seeding

Annual Grass Trials

Annual Ryegrass Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2008 Fall Seeding

Teff Variety Trial – South Charleston, Ohio – 2009 Seeding

Address of Marketers

Download files of yield data for 2009:

All Yield Trials - PDF for Printing

Alfalfa Yield Trials - Excel

Perennial Grass Yield Trial - Excel

Annual Grass Yield Trial - Excel

Forage Variety Trials in Other States

Forage Quality and Disease Information from Wisconsin and Minnesota


2009 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

D. J. Barker                 Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

K. A. Diedrick             Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources


Clarence Renk             Manager, Western Agricultural Research Station, OARDC
Joe Davlin                    Assistant Manager, Western Agricultural Research Station, OARDC
Kenny Wells                Manager, Jackson Agricultural Research Station, OARDC
Paul Brown                  Agriculture Technician, Jackson Agricultural Research Station, OARDC
Lynn Ault                     Manager, Schaffter Farm, Wooster, OARDC
Greg Smith                   Manager, Schaffter Farm, Wooster, OARDC


This report is a summary of performance data collected from forage variety trials in Ohio during 2009, including commercial varieties of alfalfa, orchardgrass, tall fescue, teff, and annual ryegrass in tests planted in 2006 to 2009 across three sites in Ohio: South Charleston, Wooster, and North Baltimore. 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).

Summary of 2009 Growing Conditions

Rainfall was above normal across most of the state for April through October, except in parts of northwest Ohio where rainfall was lower than normal. For example, at North Baltimore rainfall was 3.2 inches below the long-term average. Temperatures were generally warmer than normal in April through June and much cooler than normal July through October, except at North Baltimore where August and September were 3o F above normal.


The trials at Wooster had the highest yields, averaging over 8 tons/acre. The new spring seeding at North Baltimore yielded 2.8 tons/acre. First harvest yields are not reported in the South Charleston trials because of equipment malfunctions. 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 PLH in the alfalfa yield trial used to assess potato leafhopper resistance at South Charleston, seeded in 2008.  High leafhopper populations resulted in significant yield differences among varieties at the July and September harvests in 2009, and the total over two years. Leafhopper resistant varieties are not resistant to alfalfa weevil, and need to be treated with insecticides if weevil populations exceed action thresholds.


The reported yield in 2009 was lower because the first-harvest yields were not included due to equipment malfunction. Good production was observed the remainder of the year, and total yield including the first harvest was likely over 4 tons/acre.

Tall Fescue

The tall fescue trial of endophyte-free varieties established at South Charleston in 2008 yielded 4.0 tons/acre. There were no significant differences among varieties during this first full year of production. New varieties that are endophyte free or that contain a non-toxic endophyte (eg., Jessup Max Q) have potential to increase animal performance, especially during the summer grazing season, and to provide forage for beef cattle and sheep during autumn and early winter.


Teff, Eragrostis tef (Zucc.)is an annual grass native to Ethiopia that is new to Ohio. It grows well under warm conditions, so produces especially well during our summer months. It appears to be most suitable for hay production. It does not tolerate frost, and must be planted in late May or early June in a well-prepared seedbed, and at a very shallow depth due to the small seed size.. This year it yielded a total of 4.1 tons of dry matter per acre from three harvests at South Charleston.

 Annual Ryegrass 

Total forage yields in the annual ryegrass trial seeded September 2008 were very high in 2009, ranging from 4.5 to 7.0 tons/acre among varieties. The first harvest was later than usual, which increased yield (but lowered forage quality), and the cool and moist summer conditions promoted excellent growth. 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

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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.