Demonstrating the Potential for Triticale and Annual Ryegrass as both an Alternative Winter Crop and a Soil Organic Matter-Building Practice

Final Report for FS11-253

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2011: $9,997.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Jonny Harris
Greenview Farms, Inc.
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Project Information

Abstract:

After harvesting the 2011 – 2012 crop, we planted cotton and measured yield compared to the contract. There was nearly 150 lbs. of lint difference. We again planted seven different plots with annuals and harvested each to evaluate the nutrient levels as well as measuring soil organic matter (SOM). This data was presented to a producer meeting on 3-17-14 with over 80 attendees. Candace Pollock of Southern SARE was asked to explain the process of applying for and receiving grants and the importance of on-farm trials.

Introduction

We noticed the need for high energy forage for both Dairy and Beef producers in southeast Georgia, noting there was no data to guide producers as to which varieties to grow.

 

Project Objectives:

To take a 45 acre tract dividing into seven different plots, planting then harvesting and sampling both the forage as well as the soil organic matter.

Test results were very impressive as demonstrated by our University of Georgia specialists Dr. Dennis Hancock, Dr. Curt Lacy and Dr. Lawton Stewart.

Research

Materials and methods:

With help from the USDA-NRCS, the field was divided into seven equal sections so each variety could be analyzed.

Research results and discussion:

We presented two different producer meetings – one with over 90 attendees and the last, a rainy afternoon, with over 80 people in attendance.

 

With the help of the University of Georgia specialists, we were able to show data reflecting the production of high nutrient forage as well as improving the soil organic matter thus helping prevent erosion as well as turning a cover crop into a cash crop.

Participation Summary

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

From evidence summited from the tests results there are at least a dozen farmers in our area who are growing cover crops for forage. This includes a small farm with just six acres as well as a dairy growing more than 600 acres.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

Southeast Georgia will now have the data available to help local farmers realize the value of growing cover crop forages.

Participants

No participants
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.