Forage enhancement

To improve forage quantity and quality for livestock and/or wildlife.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa is the most widely used perennial, cool season agronomic legume, and is adapted to many regions and uses. It is palatable for livestock but can cause bloat if not managed carefully.

Meadow Bromegrass

Meadow bromegrass is a hardy, long-lived, high-yielding, cool season perennial grass. It regrows very quickly after grazing, even late in the season. Meadow bromegrass has fibrous roots and short rhizomes which spread slowly.

Dahurian Wildrye

Dahurian wildrye is a short-lived, shallow-rooted perennial bunchgrass native to Siberia, Mongolia, and China. “James” and “Arthur” are two varieties developed and registered for use in Canada.

Alsike Clover

Alsike clover is a fast-growing, short-lived perennial clover, intermediate between white and red clover. Most commonly, diploid varieties are grown in Western Canada, but there are also tetraploid types (double the number of chromosomes with taller plants, larger leaves, and flowers).

Orchardgrass

Orchardgrass is a very productive, highly palatable, perennial bunchgrass. Root systems are extensive and fibrous with a distinctive bunch growth. Crowns increase in size over time through tiller production.

Stems are 100 cm (39 in.) tall or more, and are distinctive in their flattening near the soil surface. Lots of basal leaves are produced, with smooth, folded leaves. Young leaves have boat-like tips, while older leaves have pointed tapered tips. Leaves are light green to blue green and up to 1 cm (3/8 in.) in width.

Red Clover

Red clover is an introduced, commonly grown, tap-rooted, short-lived perennial legume. It can thrive in cooler temperatures and more acidic soils than alfalfa. It has deep tap roots that develop from a shallow, narrow crown, though not as deep as alfalfa, therefore reducing its drought tolerance.

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Birdsfoot trefoil is a perennial legume that does not cause bloat in grazing ruminant animals. It is highly adapted to grow in a range of challenging conditions including infertile soils, soils with high acidity or poor drainage, and poorly prepared seed beds.

It has a wide crown and taproot, intermediate in depth between alfalfa and red clover. Roots sometimes develop from older stems that have soil contact. It requires its own specific Rhizobium loti inoculant to fix nitrogen.

Timothy

Timothy is a widely adapted, cool season perennial bunchgrass. It is considered hardy and reliable, but does not tolerate drought well.

Roots are wide spreading, shallow and fibrous with heaviest concentration of roots within top 7.5 cm (3 in.) of soil. Swollen bulbs or corms develop just below the surface and store nutrients for winter survival and regrowth after cutting or grazing.

It has strong tall stems up to 120 cm (47 in.) tall. Leaves are hairless and rolled during the bud stage. They are relatively wide, up to 12 mm, and flat.

American Vetch

American vetch is a long-lived, cool season, native perennial legume. It has climbing or trailing tendrils; the name vicia is from the Latin vincio meaning to bind or climb. It is commonly found throughout British Columbia. Its common names include American vetch, wild vetch, stiffleaf vetch, and wild pea. Currently recognized subspecies are Vicia americana ssp. americana and Vicia americana ssp. minor Hook.

Smooth Bromegrass

Smooth bromegrass is a high-yielding, cold hardy, long-lasting, creeping perennial grass. Roots are deep, fibrous, and very fine. Once established it grows creeping rhizomes and can become root bound.

Stems can reach as high as 1.2 m (48 in.) in height. Leaf blades are rolled, hairless, large and wide, up to 1.5 cm (1/2 in.). There is often a “W” constriction in the upper leaf.

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