2019 Ohio Forage Performance Trials
J.S. McCormick, Research Associate, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
R.M. Sulc, Extension Forage Agronomist, Dept. of Horticulture and Crop Science
D. J. Barker, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
Joe Davlin, Manager, Western Agricultural Research Station, OARDC
This report is a summary of performance data collected from forage variety trials in Ohio during 2019, including commercial varieties of alfalfa, annual ryegrass and cover crops in tests planted in 2017 and 2018 at South Charleston, OH. For more details on forage species and management, see the Ohio Agronomy Guide, Ohio State University Extension Bulletin 472, which can be purchased from Ohio State University Extension's eStores at
http://estore.osu-extension.org/. Find additional information at
Least significant differences (LSD) are listed at the
bottom of the tables along with the trial average (mean). Differences
between two varieties are considered statistically significant if the
difference is equal to or greater than the LSD value. If a variety yields
more than another variety by the LSD value, then we are 95% sure that the
yield difference is not due to chance.
The CV value or coefficient of variation, listed at the
bottom of each table is used as a measure of the precision of the
experiment. Lower CV values will generally relate to lower experimental
error in the trial. However, higher CV values can also occur simply as a
result of the mean yield being low (eg. due to weather conditions), because
the CV is a function of the mean yield. So a higher CV will often occur
where yields are low despite there being no increase in experimental error.
Results reported here
would be most applicable under environmental and management conditions
similar to those of the tests, on similar soils. The relative yields of all
forage varieties are affected by crop management and by environmental
factors including soil type, winter conditions, soil moisture conditions,
diseases, and insects.
Summary of 2019 Growing Conditions
Rainfall was quite variable across the season at South Charleston. April
rainfall was very regular but below the normal for the month, May and June
were above normal rainfall, and the remainder of the growing season was
drier than normal. Total rainfall for April through September was 4.17 below
average. Average monthly temperatures were above normal for most of the year
except in June and August.
The 2017 seeding at South Charleston had the highest yields in 2019,
averaging 6.81 tons/acre followed by the 2018 seeding at South Charleston,
at 5.44 tons/acre. Weather and weeds slowed growth of the 2018 trial
therefore data was not collected in 2018. Insecticide applications were used
for control of potato leafhopper (PLH) and to control alfalfa weevil at
An annual ryegrass trial was planted in September 2018. There was winter
injury that varied among varieties. Forage yields in 2018-19 were near the
long-term average at this location. Annual ryegrass is a cool-season annual
bunchgrass that is highly palatable and digestible. It has high seedling
A cover crop variety trial was planted on September 20, 2018 at the South
Charleston location to evaluate different cover crop species and varieties
for stand and ground cover development throughout the fall and for stand,
ground cover, and final biomass production the following spring.
The conditions for this trial are not meant to be representative of cover
crop planting following soybeans or corn in Ohio, because it was planted in
a well-prepared seedbed (conventionally tilled) in early September, well
before soybean or corn harvest timing in Ohio.
This trial more
closely represents what would be possible with cover crops planted on land
that was in winter wheat and laid fallow after the July grain harvest,
although even in that situation no-till planting of the cover crops in
September would be preferable for conservation purposes. Therefore, the
results from this trial should be interpreted and applied with caution to
the situation intended for a cover crop on farm. The results do demonstrate
the relative speed of fall ground cover establishment of different varieties
planted in early September, and which ones survive the winter and grow in
the spring (thus needing to be terminated before grain crop planting).
Inclusion of entries in Ohio Forage 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
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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, Roger Rennekamp, Director, Ohio State University Extension.