Snow management increases alfalfa yields

TitleSnow management increases alfalfa yields
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1989
AuthorsWaddington, J., and Steppuhn H.
Conference Name57th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 57th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1989
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationFort Collins, Colorado
KeywordsAlfalfa, Shelterbelts, Snow deposition, Tall wheatgrass windbreaks

Three varieties of alfalfa were seeded in May of 1986 into random plots within and adjacent to a 3.3 ha (8 acre) shelterbelt consisting of Orbit tall wheatgrass wind barriers located near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The barriers had been established from a 1976 double-row, north-south oriented seeding spaced 15 m apart and now occupying about 5.5% of the land area. The grass annually produces culms which over the years averaged 1 m in height and provided a snow-deposition zone whose annual maximum capacity exceeds the 75th snowfall percentile by 3 fold. Although this maximum was not reached during any season since the alfalfa was seeded, snow cover retentions at the time of measurement in 1987 and 1988 averaged 150% or greater than those surveyed outside the shelterbelt. Alfalfa forage production on 60 plots, half within and half outside the shelterbelt, was measured during the 1987 and 1988 growing seasnons; no comparisons were made in the 1986 establishment year. Oven-dried, above-ground biomass in (etc).