Biomass Yield and Nutritive Value of Annual Forage Mixes Compared With Monocrops
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Forage mixes could serve as a cover crop mix to protect the soil during the winter, for prevented planting areas or as a high nutritious feed for grazing livestock. The objective of this study was to determine the nutritive value and productivity of selected annual forage mixes compared with forage sorghum monocrops. The nutritive value of annual forage mixes and monocrops varied across environments and between treatments. Monocultures produced more biomass than annual forage mixes. The three most productive mixes in comparison to the others were hybrid brassica/oat/forage pea/forage sorghum x sudangrass/sweet sorghum blend/foxtail millet, turnip/forage sorghum x sudangrass/sweet sorghum blend/forage pea/hybrid brassicas/oat/faba bean/forage pea, and forage sorghum x sudangrass/radish mix. The latter being the most cost-effective mix. Forage sorghum dominated annual forage mixes at a planting rate of 2.2 kg/ha. These results emphasize how forage annual mixes can provide additional forage for livestock.