Report for FW06-327
The project will try to better understand how to integrate and manage annual and perennial vegetable and forage crops with livestock enterprises. The goal is to increase economic diversification, use labor resources more efficiently, extend the cattle grazing season as a way to reduce input costs and minimize the loss of soil nitrogen to reduce fertilizer inputs and prevent groundwater pollution. Producer Jeff Hobbs of Franklin, Idaho, currently has a cropping sequence of irrigated sweet corn, pumpkin, pearl millet and irrigated dryland perennial pasture. Winter triticale is being incorporated into the pumpkin and pearl millet, and this project will assess how the pearl millet and triticale, along with the legumes forage pea and red clover, contribute to livestock performance and carrying capacity. The objectives are to define the impacts of various planting patterns, along with the timing and intensity of cattle grazing, on seasonal forage availability, nutritional value, weed density and losses of nitrogen beyond the rooting depth.