New Grazing System Improves Forage Availability and Water Use Efficiency
Annual grasses such as triticale (shown) improve yearlong forage availabity and water use efficiency
What Has ANR Done?Cooperative Extension advisors conducted a series of field trials in Siskiyou County to develop a grazing system using winter annual grasses. Trials were conducted with growers and at the UC Intermountain Research and Extension Center. Yield and forage quality were evaluated for several different grass species under actual grazing conditions. Grazing management practices were also studied by cutting to simulate grazing. The results indicated that annual grasses such as triticale could lengthen the forage production season by allowing late fall grazing, early spring grazing and still allow for a hay crop to be produced from the regrowth after grazing. Much of the growing season for winter annual grasses occurs at times of the year when temperatures are cool and rain frequent. Since the amount of water needed per unit of forage is less with this annual grass system than it is with perennial grasses, this system has improved water use efficiency.
New crop has great fit for grazing cattle and improved water use efficiencyThe new forage management system, primarily with a new crop called triticale, is a terrific improvement. Triticale doesn’t replace an old crop; it complements the traditional cattle grazing systems. Triticale provides grazable forage of high quality when previously that wasn’t available. Growth occurs during the year when natural rainfall is more plentiful making better use of water. It is a new concept for growers, but it’s advantages are so great many are readily adopting the new practices.
Clientele Testimonial"Triticale fits great for our ranch. We get fall and spring feed. It cuts back on our hay feeding and it works as a rotation crop with our alfalfa production."
Mike Bryan, cattle ranch and alfalfa producer.