No-till Forage Establishment to Improve Soil and Water Conservation and Reduce Associated Production Risks

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1997: $99,209.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $9,921.00
Region: Western
State: Alaska
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Stephen Sparrow
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Raymond Gavlak
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: oats, hay


  • Animal Production: pasture fertility, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: double cropping, intercropping, no-till
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Soil Management: general soil management


    The effectiveness of no-till forage establishment was assessed at six locations in Alaska. Direct seeding of grass into established grass stands usually did not improve forage yields or quality. Seeding rate and N rate had little effect on establishment of newly seeded forages, especially in no-till. Grass yields were depressed when companion crop yields were high and sometimes did not recover in subsequent years. Red clover established well, producing high yields of good quality forage under no-till at one site, but established poorly at two other sites.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this project were to:

    1. Evaluate the efficacy of no-till planting as compared to planting into tilled soil under various N fertilizer rates for establishment of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) in Alaska.

    2. Evaluate promising annual companion crops for forage production during perennial grass establishment in no-till and conventional tilled planting systems.

    3. Determine the effectiveness of no-till establishment of perennial grasses and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) at various seeding rates.

    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.