An evaluation of winter hardiness in Saskatchewan forages grasses
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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The cold hardiness of forage grasses recommended for production in Saskatchewan was evaluated at both the seedling growth stage (fall sown) and from established stands (spring sown). Plant crowns from the established stands were on average approximately 6 °C more cold-hardy than crown tissue of the same varieties at the seedling growth stage. 'Norstar' winter wheat and 'Puma' winter rye were used as standards for cold hardiness comparison. None of the grass varieties which were tested at the seedling stage were more cold hardy than Puma rye. The least cold hardy forage grasses, orchard grass and reed canary grass, were considerably less cold-hardy than Norstar winter wheat. Fall seeding of these species is not recommended because of the high risk of winter-kill. Many other varieties would need adequate snow-cover to ensure winter survival if fall sown. When spring sown, the least cold-hardy varieties were similar in cold hardiness to Norstar. Once established, many other varieties had cold hardiness levels similar to Puma rye.
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