Trial Name: 2022 Cover Crop Mixes
There was more biomass in the Ultimate mix compared to the other cover crop mixes. It is important to note that, despite producing 32% more than the other NPARA blends (P=0.0076), its mean biomass value was statistically the same than biomass found in Pinpoint in NPARA blends 5 and 6 (P=0.0151). In contrast, NPARA blends 1 and 4 which were the blends that produced the lightest mean biomass. It can be argued that blends 5 and 6 as they have corn in their cover crop mix, which is a heavy and bulky plant and ryegrass, which is an early emergence high yielding cover crop. Blends 1 and 4, have cereal rye as part of their mix, but biomass produced from these stands is not as copious as that found in annual ryegrass.
Protein values were the highest in ultimate and pinpoint blends (P<0.0001). As such, Ultimate and Pinpoint had 54 and 42% more protein respectively compared to NPARA protein values combined. Protein content in NPARA blend 3 was the same as that found in Pinpoint blend in comparison to the other blends from NPARA, likely due to white clover being part of such blend.
Acid (P=0.0279) and neutral (P=0.0184) detergent fibre were also greater in the ultimate blend. Acid and neutral detergent fibre were 30 (P=0.0153) and 26% (P=0.0452) respectively compared to those found in NPARA blends. From the blends selected at NPARA, blends #2, 5 and 6 showed statistically similar ADF and NDF values to Ultimate and Pinpoint blends. Lowest ADF and NDF values on the other hand were attributed to blends 1 and 4, possibly due to presence of cereal rye in a greater proportion with respect to the other blends. Total digestible nutrients were greater in Ultimate and Pinpoint blends (P=0.0022). Values were 43 (P=0.0002) and 32% (P=0.0087) greater than those found in NPARA blends.
Soil organic matter (P=0.9045), Cation Exchange Capacity (P=0.0669), pH (P=0.7063), P (P=0.1634), K (P=0.1623), Mg (P=0.7874), S (P=0.2400), Zn (P=0.9525), Fe (P=0.2619), Cu (P=0.4967), B (P=0.3848), Al (P=0.9629) and Na (P=0.9629) as well as nitrate (P=0.2096) were the same for all treatments. Moreover, insects were monitored every two weeks and data suggests that number of insects did not differ across treatments (P=0.0950).
Overall, NPARA blends 1 and 4 more digestible for the animal to eat compared to the other NPARA blends. However, NPARA blend #3 might also be a good choice of energy as it provides as much protein as that found in the Pinpoint blend.
- Cover crop mix (Ultimate Annual, Pinpoint Blend, NPARA Blends #1-6)
- May 26 – Glyph (1 L/ac)
- June 5 – Urea (100 lbs/ac)
- June 6 – S15 (100 lbs/ac)