Production and Quality of Irrigated Timothy Hay in Saskatchewan for Export Hay Markets
- Paul G. Jefferson *a,
- Bruce E. Coulmanb and
- G.Andrew Kiellyc
A market for timothy (Phleum pratense L.) hay exists in Asia and is adapted under irrigation in southern Saskatchewan, but variation among cultivars for the required quality characteristics was unknown. We evaluated forage yield and quality for export and traditional hay markets of timothy cultivars on two irrigated sites in southern Saskatchewan. Eleven cultivars were grown at two N fertilizer rates (100 and 150 kg N ha−1) at Swift Current and Outlook for 3 yr. Seed head length, stem length, leaf/stem ratio, forage dry matter yield, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and crude protein concentrations were determined. Seed head length and stem length, which are quality characteristics for export to Japan, were subject to site × cultivar × year interaction due to instability of some cultivars. ‘Drummond’ had the longest seed heads in five of six site-years while ‘Toro’ had the shortest in four site-years. ‘Timfor’ and Toro ranked first to fourth for stem length while Drummond and ‘Bottnia II’ had the shortest stems. Thus, the requirement for long heads and long stems was not met by one cultivar. Principal component analysis separated cultivars based on maturity compared with yield. Richmond, the earliest-maturing cultivar, was distinct from Drummond, the latest cultivar. The second principal component separated Timfor, a high-yield and low-quality cultivar from Bottnia II, a low-yield and high-quality cultivar. Drummond is the best cultivar for export markets while Richmond is better suited for traditional markets.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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