Peace Region Forage Cultivar Testing (PRFCT) Program: Annual Report 2021
Khanal, N., Yoder, C., Rahman, N. and Gauthier T. (2022). Peace Region Forage Cultivar Testing (PRFCT) Program: Annual Report 2021. Coordinated by Peace Region Forage Seed Association in collaboration with
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge Research Farm, Alberta
The COVID-19 pandemic created a lag in the forage seed cultivar evaluation activities at Beaverlodge Research farm in 2020. The pandemic curtailed intensive research activities and no cultivar testing trials were established in 2020. With the arduous effort of Calvin Yoder, forage seed specialist affiliated with Peace Region Forage Seed Association (PRFSA) and SARDA Ag Research, three trials on cultivar evaluation of creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. var. rubra), various fine fescues (Festuca spp.) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn.) were conducted in the farmers’ fields in Donnelly, AB. In 2021, a total of six cultivar evaluation trials were established in Beaverlodge Research Farm. Various cultivars of creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. var. rubra), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum L.) are being evaluated for their seed yield in comparison with popular cultivars of respective species in the region. The test cultivars were received from various Canadian seed companies and their foreign affiliates including Foster's Seed & Feed Ltd, Limoges Forage & Grasses Ltd, BrettYoung, DLF Moore Seed and Northstar Seed.
This report includes the interim results 2020-established on-farm trials, observation notes on Serbian alfalfa, red clover and vetch (Vicia sativa L.) cultivars established in 2020, and establishment status of 2021-seeded trials in the Beaverlodge Research Farm. While the 2021 weather conditions were generally favourable for crop growth, the weather in 2021 was characterized by intense heatwave, drought and high evapo-transpiration causing excessive moisture stress and pre-mature senescence of crop foliage. The weather condition in 2021 caused pollen desiccation, poor fertilization, impaired seed development resulting in low yield, high dockage and light weight of seeds.