Experimenting with Soybean/Grass Combinations for Forage

UW ExtensionWisconsin Team Forage

Experimenting with Soybean/Grass Combinations for Forage

by Michael G. Bertram
Marshfield Agricultural Research Station


  • Possibilities of feed shortages exist.
    • 500,000 alfalfa acres winter killed in Spring 2003
  • Limited research on soybean mixtures.
  • New forage oat and forage soybean varieties available.
  • Limited pearl millet research in central Wisconsin.

View details of experiment and results in this PDF file.


  • Late oat planting is risky. It is a better option to plant early.
  • Soybeans didn’t change oat quality. Peas are a better choice to enhance yield and protein.
  • Forage oats didn’t improve yield over a conventional variety with late planting.
  • Pearl millet and BMR sorghum sudangrass both had good potential, but pearl millet generally yielded less and was more dependent on good growing conditions.
  • Soybeans may enhance quality in PM and BMR, but results were inconsistent.
  • Group 1 soybeans generally yielded less than Group 2, which did not differ from Forage.
  • Soybean quality did not differ and was similar to alfalfa, although protein was low.
  • These are a few of many options producers could consider when short of forage. Corn silage has a much greater yield potential.

Proc of the 2006 Wisconsin Fertilizer, Aglime & Pest Management Conference, Vol. 45