• Effect of Reed Canarygrass and Red Clover Mixtures on Forage Yield and Mineral Content in Southcentral Alaska

      Gavlak, Raymond G.; Hall, Beth A. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2002-06)
      Early perennial forage performance research was done in Alaska at a number of locations near the turn of the twentieth century, including Copper Center, Kenai, Sitka, and Rampart (Georgeson, 1899; Georgeson, 1901-1904). Resulting yields for native and introduced cool season perennial grasses were fairly positive, however, all sites were rain fed and some seedings were unsuccessful due to dry conditions. Timothy (Phleum pratense L.), smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and orchard grass (Dactyls glomerata L.) dominated the early test plantings.
    • Effects of Potassium Source and Secondary Nutrients on Potato Yield and Quality in Southcentral Alaska.

      Walworth, James L.; Gavlak, Raymond G.; Muniz, June E. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1990-12)
      Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S) are required for the growth and development of all higher plants. They are commonly referred to as secondary nutrients because they are less often limiting to plant growth than the primary nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), although secondary nutrients are as critical for crop growth and development as the primary nutrients. There is limited information available concerning secondary nutrient requirements of potatoes grown in southcentral Alaska. Laughlin (1966) conducted studies between 1961 and 1963 comparing potassium chloride (KCl) and potassium sulfate (K2SO4) as potassium sources for Green Mountain potatoes, and determined the effects of varying rates of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) and K2SO4 on Kennebec potatoes. Since these studies were conducted without irrigation and at production levels about one-half those obtained by top producers in the Matanuska Valley today, it was considered appropriate to expand upon the previous work using current production practices. Potassium was supplied as KCl and K2 SO4 to explore the need for additional S under local potato production conditions and to determine the effects of the chloride (Cl) and sulfate (SO4) anions on production and quality of potato tubers. In addition, Mg and Ca were added to determine whether the background levels of these nutrients were adequate for optimum production.
    • Effects of Seeding Rate on Dry Matter Yield of Two Forage Rape Varieties

      Panciera, Michael T.; Gavlak, Raymond G. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1991-03)
      Husby and Krieg (1987) reported that average Alaskan forages were deficient in energy for beef cattle and protein levels were marginal for growing animals. Both the energy and protein of Alaskan forages are low for lactating dairy cows (Brundage and Herlugson, 1984). Energy and protein concentrates are imported to Alaska from elsewhere in the U.S. High transportation costs make these imported feedstuffs expensive for Alaskan livestock producers. Brassica crops, such as rape (Brassica riapus L.) and turnips (B. rapa L.) have been widely studied as forage crops because they have the potential to produce high yields of excellent quality forage. Jung et al. (1986) demonstrated this potential when they reported that Brassica spp. yielded 4-7 tons DM/A and the forage was highly digestible (80-90% in vitro dry matter digestibility). Crude protein was relatively low for turnip roots (8-12%), but top growth was high (up to 27%). Lambert et al. (1987) found that the quality of Brassica spp. was too high for optimum performance of growing lambs. They reported that it was necessary to include some coarse feed, such as grass hay, to increase the fiber content in the diets of these animals. The potential of Brassica crops has been investigated in Alaska (Mitchell and Krieg, 1985; Panciera et al., 1990). The yield and quality of these crops in Alaska were similar to the levels observed in the Lower 48 states. Basic agronomic information is needed in order to develop management recommendations for Brassicas in Alaska. Research is underway to define the nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer requirements (Panciera etal., 1990). This report summarizes the results of a two year study concerning the effects of seeding rates on dry matter yields of two Brassica hybrids.
    • Effects of Soil Fertility on Potato Plant Development in the Matanuska Valley

      Walworth, James L.; Gavlak, Raymond G.; Muniz, June E. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1990-06)
      Nutrient uptake and physiological development in potato plants have been investigated in major potato growing regions, but comparable studies have not been conducted in high latitude areas such as the potato producing sections of southcentral Alaska. Knowledge of plant development and nutrient partitioning among various plant parts is important both in terms of general understanding of the growth habits of potatoes in a unique environment and for improved management of field production of this crop. Nutrient response data provide a basis for fertilizer application recommendations. A field study designed to define potato plant development under various fertility regimes was initiated in 1989. Potato plants were intensively sampled through the growing season to determine the effects of nutrient availability on growth processes, to measure growth rates of various plant parts, and to determine the fate of nutrients absorbed by the plant. The results of the effects of soil fertility on potato plant development are presented in this report. Nutrient uptake and partitioning data will be compiled in later publications when laboratory analyses are complete.
    • Evaluation of Forage Legume Potential at Fairbanks, Point Mackenzie, and Soldotna

      Panciera, Michael T.; Sparrow, Stephen D.; Gavlak, Raymond G.; Larson, Warren E. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1990-06)
      Forage legumes have a high crude protein content and some residual nitrogen from these crops can be utilized by other species that follow legumes in crop rotations. Irwin (1945) compiled the results of early research covering a wide range of legumes, both annual and perennial, at several locations within Alaska, but neither the yields nor the persistence of these crops were comparable to native and introduced grasses. Recommended legumes included field peas and vetches in combination with cereal grains and either alsike or sweetclover in combination with bromegrass for silage (Sweetman et al., 1950). Perennial legume yields (0.5 to 1.9 tons per acre) were low when compared to perennial grasses at the Matanuska Research Farm in southcentral Alaska (Klebesadel, 1980,1983). These low yields were attributed to poor winterhardiness and consequent winterkill of most of the legumes. Formation of ice sheets, direct exposure to lethal temperatures (due to lack of snow cover), and desiccation reduce the ability of perennial legumes to survive winters in southcentral Alaska (Klebesadel, 1974). Yield potentials for perennial grasses may exceed 4.5 tons per acre (Mitchell, 1982), while forage legumes may produce from 0.5 to 2.4 tons per acre in research studies and demonstrations (Klebesadel, 1980; Mitchell, 1986). Husby and Krieg (1987) reported average crude protein contents for Alaska hays to be in the range of 8.3 to 11.8%. Changes in the production potential of Alaskan dairy cattle have effectively redefined the quality of forage that must be produced for the dairy industry. Current milk production potential for Alaska dairy cattle (14,800 lb/yr) requires high concentrations (>16%) of crude protein in the ration (Brown et al., 1989; NRC, 1988). On a dry matter yield basis legumes do not compare well with grasses, but high crude protein content and the cost of protein supplements in Alaska justify further research with both annual and perennial leguminous forage crops. Experiments were conducted to evaluate forage legumes for yield, quality, and persistence potential at three locations in Alaska. Preliminary results from these experiments are presented.