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Research Notes: 2001-2002 Small Grains Variety Tests

Posted Jul. 1, 2002

This is a preliminary report of the small grains variety testing for the 2001-2002 season. Small-grain varieties and experimental strains again were planted and evaluated for forage production at the Noble Research Institute Headquarters Farm near Ardmore and the Red River Demonstration and Research Farm (RRDRF) near Burneyville.

Two plantings were established at Headquarters Farm on Oct. 2 and Oct. 23 and two at the RRDRF on Sept. 14 and Oct. 5. The normal planting date of mid-September was delayed because of wet soil conditions at Ardmore. More moderate rainfall in late August and early September allowed for normal planting dates on the sandy loam soils at Burneyville. In general, fall and mid-spring forage production was fair to good. However, production was slowed by dry weather from mid-December through mid-March, and by cold temperatures in late February and early March. Cold damage was evident in all of the barley varieties, some of the oats and a few early forage producing wheats and triticales.

At the Headquarters Farm, the Oct. 2 (early) planted test plots were harvested four times for forage yield during the growing season Dec. 10, Feb. 28, April 3 and May 9. Total dry forage yields ranged from 2,022 to 6,317 pounds per acre and averaged 4,796 pounds per acre for the test. Due to the later-than-desirable planting date, fall growth was delayed, resulting in only 7 percent of the total forage harvested by Dec. 10. In general, ryes and oats produced the most forage, and barley the least. The top 10 total forage producers included six ryes, two triticales, one  wheat and one oat. The top five forage producers for each crop tested, along with dry pounds per acre, are shown in Table 1.

The Oct. 23 (late) planting included nine varieties three ryes, three wheats, two oats and one triticale. It was harvested three times during the late winter and spring part of the growing season. Due to the late planting date, fall and early winter growth was slow. However, the late planting produced an average of 12 percent more total forage than the early planting of the same nine varieties at Ardmore. The total dry forage yields for each entry are shown in Table 2.

At the RRDRF, the September (early) planted test was harvested four times for forage yield during the season Dec. 6, March 12, April 2 and May 2. Overall, total forage yields were down compared to previous years at this site. However, fall production was good to excellent as 34 percent of the total season forage was harvested on Dec. 6. The total forage yields ranged from 2,636 to 5,442 pounds per acre with an average total production of 3,912 pounds per acre. The ryes produced the earliest forage and oats the latest. The top 10 total forage producers included eight ryes, one oat and one triticale. The top five forage producers for each small grain are shown in Table 1.

At RRDRF, the Oct. 5 (late) planting included the same nine varieties that were planted at Ardmore. It was also harvested four times on the same dates as the early planting. The overall average total forage production for the late planting was 18 percent higher than the same varieties in the early planting. However, the early planting produced 31 percent more forage on the first clipping in December. The total dry forage yields for each entry are shown in Table 2.

Detailed forage yield data and other details of the 2001-2002 small grain and ryegrass tests will be published and available in August.