North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
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HAY YIELDS FROM GRASS AND GRASS-ALFALFA MIXTURE PLOTS

Crested Wheatgrass Trial:
Hay yields of the crested wheatgrass varieties seeded in 1958 are given in Table 1. The 1965 average yield of all varieties at 1647 pounds per acre was very good, comparing favorably with the 1962 production in the case of most varieties. The 1965 production, however, was not quite as good as the 1962 production, and it was appreciably lower than the record average production of these varieties at 1911 pounds per acre, obtained in 1963. The average of all varieties for the 7 years of the trial is 1397 pounds per acre.

The standard crested wheatgrass derivatives have continued to be the highest producing varieties, including summit, Standard, Nebraska 10, and Nordan. While there have been variations in yields between these varieties from year to year, the overall average yields for the 7-year period can hardly be considered as differing significantly. The production of these four varieties has averaged about 3/4 ton per acre. The Fairway-derived varieties have produced slightly less than the Standard-derived varieties over the period of the trial, but they have produced very well. An exception to this is the Turkish Fairway trial, which has been a consistently low-producer throughout the trial period. The average production of this grass for the period has been only 1028 pounds per acre. It has appeared to be in relatively low vigor at all times during the trial.

Nearly all of the plot stands of the varieties in this trial are still in excellent condition, with the only exception again being the stands on the Turkish Fairway plots. In these plots rather serious stand deterioration has taken place, and weeds and other grasses have invaded. It is possible that some of the production of the last few years on these plots has been from the invading crested wheatgrass varieties which have replaced to some extent the Turkish variety.

Table 1. Hay Yields From Crested Wheatgrass Varieties Seeded in 1958.
Variety Dry Weight Yield - Pounds per acre 7 Year
Average Yield
1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
Summit Crested 1328 1614 856 2023 1995 889 2011 1531
Commercial Crested 1452 1815 824 2080 1978 818 1538 1500
Nebraska 10 1137 1791 864 1890 2109 871 1784 1492
Nordan Crested 1427 1461 806 2006 2069 910 1669 1478
Mandan 2359 1157 1687 833 1678 2119 864 1808 1462
Nebraska 3576 Fairway 1371 1605 905 1680 1846 715 1650 1396
Commercial Fairway 1425 1619 873 1759 1734 887 1435 1390
South Dakota 15 1164 1546 770 1556 1788 712 1523 1296
Turkish Fairway 753 930 562 1338 1558 747 1308 1028
Average 1246 1563 810 1790 1911 824 1647 1397

Station Grass and Mixture Trial:
Yields of the mixtures and straight grass seedings in this trial are given in tables 2, 3, and 4. The 1965 yields of the grass-alfalfa mixtures are given in table 2, and the 7-year average yields of the mixtures are given in table 3. Table 4 gives the 7-year average yields of the straight grass seedings in the trial. Overall 1965 production of the grass-alfalfa mixtures at an average of 3,404 pounds per acre was the second highest yield thus far obtained in the trial. The highest average yield of the mixtures in this trial was 4,123 pounds per acre obtained in 1963. The overall 1965 average yield of the straight grass seedings at 2,271 pounds per acre was very good, but the yields of 2,839 pounds obtained in 1960, and 2,443 pounds in 1963, were both appreciably better than the 1965 production.

The data of table 2 shows that alfalfa continues to be an important component of the yield in nearly all of the grass-alfalfa mixtures on the basis of the average production of all plots 46.1 percent of the yield was produced by alfalfa. In the four highest producing mixtures in the 1965 season alfalfa made up 62, 40, 50, and 68 percent of the yields, respectively. The four highest producing mixtures in the 1965 season were 1-Green stipa-Teton alfalfa; 2-Lincoln brome-Ladak alfalfa; 3-Lincoln brome-Teton alfalfa; and 4-Nordan crested-Teton alfalfa. Alfalfa has consistently produced a smaller portion of the total yield in the Russian wildrye-alfalfa mixtures than in other mixtures. In the 1965 season alfalfa produced 22.5 percent of the yield in the Russian wildrye-Ladak alfalfa mixture and only 15.5 percent of the yield from the Russian wildrye-Teton alfalfa mixture.

The grass-alfalfa mixtures produced an average of 50 percent more total yield than did the straight grass seedings in the 1965 season. Over the period of the trial the grass-alfalfa mixtures have produced about 33 percent more than the straight grass seedings. The nordan crested-Teton alfalfa mixture has been the highest producing mixture over the period of the trial, although it was only fourth highest in the 1965 season. Lincoln brome-Ladak alfalfa and Lincoln brome-Teton alfalfa have averaged closest to the nordan-Teton mixture for the trial period.

Production of the nordan crested-Teton alfalfa mixture for the 7-year period has averaged 34.7 percent greater than the production of the straight nordan crested seedings. The average yield of the Lincoln brome-Ladak alfalfa combination has been 31.7 percent greater than the average yield of Lincoln brome alone. The Lincoln brome-Teton mixture has averaged 28.2 percent greater in yield than Lincoln brome alone. The green stipa-alfalfa combinations have produced substantially better than green-stipa alone, with the average for the green stipa-Teton mixture being 65.5 percent greater than for straight green stipa, and the green stipa-Ladak combination averaging 37.7 greater yield than green stipa alone. The Russian wildrye-alfalfa combinations have averaged about 20 percent greater production than straight Russian wildrye (2355) over the period of the trial.

In the straight grass seedings Nebraska 50 intermediate wheatgrass has maintained a very good yield over the period of the trial and by a slight margin continues as the highest-producing variety, although several of the varieties outyielded it in the 1965 season (table 4). The average yield of the Nebraska 50 Intermediate at 2,280 pounds per acre is just slightly better than the average yields of the next four closest varieties. Intermediate, Summit crested, Lincoln brome, nordan crested, and Southland brome all have average yields of over 1 ton per acre for the period of the trial.

Some stand deterioration has taken place in some of the plots, particularly in the grass-alfalfa mixture plots. Where the alfalfa has decreased in the plots, serious invasions of crested wheatgrass have taken place. The extent to which crested wheatgrass has invaded is shown in the data of Table 2. Almost all the grass referred to as "Other Grass" is crested wheatgrass. The slender wheatgrass plots, as would be expected, have now gone almost entirely to crested wheatgrass and are no longer harvested. The green stipa plots have continued to improve in stand density and production, and the western wheatgrass plots showed great improvement in the 1965 season. A fair amount of crested wheatgrass does occur in these latter plots.

Table 2. Composition of 1965 Hay Yields From Station Grass-Alfalfa Mixture Trial Seeded in 1958.
Mixtures Dry-Weight Yields - Pounds Per Acre Total Yield
Grass Alfalfa Other Grass Weeds
Green Stipa - Teton Alfalfa 1338 2950 493 --- 4781
Lincoln Brome - Ladak Alfalfa 2233 1643 229 --- 4150
Lincoln Brome - Teton Alfalfa 1817 1989 178 --- 3984
Nordan Crested - Teton Alfalfa 1249 2692 21 --- 3962
Green Stipa - Ladak Alfalfa 1497 1385 835 --- 3717
Intermediate Wheatgrass - Ladak Alfalfa 1262 1370 887 --- 3519
Lincoln Brome - Nordan Crested - Ladak Alfalfa 1992 1410 8 --- 3410
Manchar Brome - Ladak Alfalfa 2026 1029 204 --- 3259
Intermediate Wheatgrass - Teton Alfalfa 665 1813 591 5 2942
Russian Wildrye (2355) - Ladak Alfalfa 1590 463 --- 5 2058
Green Stipa (New) - Ladak Alfalfa 891 1784 242 25 2942
Russian Wildrye (2355) - Teton Alfalfa 1694 317 10 20 2041
Average 1521 1570 308 5 3404

 

Table 3. Average Hay Yields From Station Grass-Alfalfa Mixture Trial Seeded in 1958.
Mixtures Dry-Weight Yields - Pounds Per Acre Average Yield
1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
Nordan Crested - Teton Alfalfa 2359 3396 1360 2970 3959 1691 3961 2814
Lincoln Brome - Ladak Alfalfa 2171 3272 903 2824 4542 1534 4105 2765
Lincoln Brome - Teton Alfalfa 2329 2765 943 2682 4441 1698 3984 2692
Lincoln Brome-Nordan Crested-Ladak Alf. 2447 3204 1195 2663 3642 1862 3410 2632
Intermediate Wheatgrass - Teton Alfalfa 3144 3381 647 2421 4182 1255 3075 2586
Manchar Brome - Ladak Alfalfa 2127 2764 692 2237 3654 1315 .3259 2293
Intermediate Wheatgrass - Ladak Alfalfa 2818 3258 755 -1 4093 1440 3519 2269
Russian Wildrye (2355) - Teton Alfalfa 1449 2307 786 1825 2859 1307 2040 1796
Russian Wildrye (2355) - Ladak Alfalfa 1653 1716 711 2201 2526 1220 2058 1726
Green Stipa (New) - Ladak Alfalfa --- --- --- 3006 5714 1365 2942 32572
Green Stipa - Teton Alfalfa --- --- 642 2684 5579 1678 4781 30733
Green Stipa - Ladak Alfalfa --- --- 1035 2344 4290 1406 3717 25583
Average 2297 2896 879 2321 4123 1481 3404 2538
1No harvestable yield in 1962.

2Only 4 years yield data.

3Only 5 years yield data.

 

Table 4. Average Hay Yields From Station Grass Trial Seeded in 1958.
Grasses Dry Weight Yields - Pounds Per Acre 7-Year Average Yield
1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
Intermediate Wheatgrass (Neb. 50) 2865 3440 743 1855 3167 1450 2439 2280
Summit Crested 2653 3310 1272 2317 2339 1138 2390 2203
Lincoln Bromegrass 2559 3107 971 2185 2507 799 2572 2100
Nordan Crested 2364 3203 1259 2032 2475 1117 2172 2089
Southland Brome 2344 3293 750 2141 2442 703 2640 2045
Manchar Brome 2332 2560 707 1937 2284 974 2391 1884
Northern Brome 2324 2876 540 1818 2035 763 2075 1776
Russian Wildrye (2355) 1368 2086 686 1727 1929 913 1478 1455
Russian Wildrye (Com.) 1404 1913 756 1530 1574 1008 1522 1387
Slender Wheatgrass 1937 2601 --- --- 2531 --- --- ---
Green Stipa (New) --- --- 755 2441 3118 1118 2354 (1971)*
Green Stipa (Com.) --- --- 608 1916 2912 1237 2613 (1857)*
Western Wheatgrass --- --- --- --- --- 934 2609 (1305)*
Average 2215 2839 833 1991 2443 1019 2271 1913
*Not included in average yield of all grasses.

Dryland Alfalfa Plots:
The 1965 yields from the dryland alfalfa plots seeded in 1960 are given in table 5, and the 5-year average yields for the period of the trial are given in table 6. Two cuttings were made in the 1965 season and excellent yields were obtained because of favorable seasonal moisture conditions. The average yield of all varieties was the highest yet obtained in this trial, with the average of 5378 pounds per acre being just slightly better than the 1962 average yield of 5274 pounds per acre. Most of the plot stands showed appreciable additional recovery from the damage suffered in the winter of 1963-1964. However by the end of the 1965 season it was apparent that the stands of Du Puits had failed entirely, and of the 4 plots of Scandia and the 4 plots of Pfister, only 1 plot of each remained in harvestable condition.

The highest yielding variety in the 1965 season in this trial was South Dakota (H-2157), with a production of 6027 pounds per acre (oven-dry weight). Approximately 74 percent of this yield was produced in the first cutting. Ladak and Rhizoma produced very nearly as much as South Dakota (H-2157) with yields of 5888 and 5792 pounds per acre, respectively, Ladak produced 74 percent of its yield from the first clipping, while Rhizoma produced about 70 percent. As the average for all varieties, 69.5 percent of the yield was produced from the first clipping, and 30.5 percent from the second clipping. This contrasts to the 1964 season, when 46 percent of the total yield was produced from the first clipping and 54 percent from the second clipping. In the 1965 season, all varieties except Pfister, Ranger, and of course Du Puits, produced over 5000 pounds per acre from the two cuttings.

The 5-year average yields given in table 6 show that Ladak, Rambler, Vernal, and South Dakota (H-2157) have been the high producers in the trial, all averaging over 3800 pounds per acre for the period. Rhizoma, Teton, and Grimm have all averaged over 3700 pounds per acre. The range in average yield for all seven of these varieties is only from 3737 pounds per acre for Grimm to 4083 pounds for Ladak, the highest yielder for the trial period.

Table 7 gives the yields from the first harvest of the new alfalfa trial plots seeded in the 1964 season. The average yield of all varieties included in this trial was 3977 pounds per acre (oven-dry weight), with the range from a low of 2843 pounds for Lahontan to the high of 4687 pounds for Culver. Ladak was about at the mid-point of all varieties with a production of 4001 pounds per acre. On the basis of average yield for all varieties about 63 percent of the yield was produced from the first clipping and about 37 percent from the second clipping. Only Lahontan showed greater production from the second clipping than from the first, and here the distribution of yield between clipping periods was about equal. In the case of Culver, the highest yielding variety, 73 percent of the total yield was produced from the first clipping.

The data of table 7 show that there was an appreciable production of weeds from most plots. However, most of the plot stands are very good, and for most varieties all four replications can be considered as being in satisfactory condition. However, Du Puits and Lahontan show some weakness of stands, and with each of these varieties only 3 of the 4 plots seeded were harvested in the 1966 season.

Table 5. Yields of Alfalfa and Weeds in 1965 Season from Dryland Alfalfa Plots Seeded in 1960.
Variety Dry Weight-Yield-Lbs./Acre Total Yield Lbs. Per Acre
1st Clipping 2nd Clipping
Alfalfa Weeds Alfalfa Weeds Alfalfa Weeds
S. Dak. (H-2157) 4447 7 1580 4 6027 11
Ladak 4382 43 1506 6 5888 49
Rhizoma 4034 24 1758 7 2792 31
Teton 4107 0 1530 0 5637 0
Rambler 3987 109 1569 0 5556 109
Narrangansett 3634 98 1730 10 5364 108
Vernal 3468 82 1684 33 5152 115
Grimm 3157 180 1879 8 5036 188
Ranger 3169 71 1655 25 4824 96
Scandia1 3609 140 1656 25 5265 165
Pfister1 3141 392 1476 22 4617 414
Du Puits No Stand
Average 3740 104 1638 13 5378 117
1Yield data from only one plot. No stand left on other three plots.

 

Table 6. Hay Yields from Dryland Alfalfa Plots Seeded in 1960.
Variety Dry-Weight Yield - Lbs./Acre Average Yield Lbs./Acre
1961 1962 1963 19641 19651
Ladak 963 5851 4504 3207 5888 4083
Rambler 1124 5947 4439 2840 5556 3981
Vernal 1099 5545 4345 3051 5152 3838
S. Dak. (H-2157) 900 5008 4302 2910 6027 3829
Rhizoma 827 5923 4244 2165 5792 3790
Teton 841 4960 4480 2796 5637 3743
Grimm 1059 5354 4113 3124 5036 3737
Ranger 869 4842 4100 2750 4824 3477
Narrangansett 1023 3658 4469 2625 5364 3428
Scandia 907 5312 3793 2349 52652 3525
Pfister (FD-180) 904 5093 3701 1267 46172 3116
Du Puits 974 5789 3984 1091 --- 29603
Average 958 5274 4206 2515 5378 3626
1Yields for 1964 and 1965 do not include weeds.

21965 yield data for Scandia and Pfister from one plot only. No stand left on other 3 plots of each.

34-year average yield - 1961 - 1964. No stand in 1965.

 

Table 7. Hay Yields in 1965 Season From New Alfalfa Trial Seeded in 1964
Variety Dry-Weight Yield - Pounds Per Acre Total Yield

Lbs./Acre

1st Clipping 2nd Clipping
Alfalfa Weeds Alfalfa Weeds Alfalfa Weeds
Culver 3416 42 1271 115 4687 157
Vernal 2869 100 1666 71 4535 171
Teton 2962 61 1510 26 4472 87
Ranger 2802 115 1622 81 4424 196
Warrior 2606 135 1490 61 4096 196
Norseman 2779 59 1308 149 4087 208
Ladak 2617 53 1384 76 4001 129
Travois 2390 62 1430 70 3820 132
Vinta 2392 103 1312 56 3704 159
Du Puits 1935 93 1615 56 3550 149
Cody 2106 57 1396 73 3502 130
Lahontan 1417 103 1426 95 2843 198
Average 2524 82 1453 77 3977 159

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