“Cocktail forage mix yield, quality and use in cow rations,” led by Matt Akins, an assistant scientist in the department of animal and dairy sciences and Extension dairy specialist at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station. Luiz Ferraretto is collaborating on the research.
Project summary: The use of cocktail forage mixes – brown midrib sorghum-sudangrass, Italian ryegrass, clovers and hairy vetch – as part of a dairy-forage system has gained popularity due to weather impacts, alfalfa winterkill, and increased opportunity for manure distribution. But only limited yield and quality research data are available. The objectives of the study are listed.
- evaluate yield and quality of mixes using on-farm data
- evaluate how management factors – seeding depth, row spacing and red-clover varieties – affect forage-mix growth and quality
- assess forage-mix fermentation quality and lactating cow performance when fed diets with or without mix
The goal is to understand forage-mix quality and yield and provide data so farmers can make informed cropping and feeding decisions.