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Managing double-cropped annual forage species in a grain crop rotation

Research Scholar

Thiago Vessoni, Department of Horticulture & Crop Science (Brazil)
R. Mark Sulc, Faculty Mentor
David Barker, Co-Researcher
John McCormick, Co-Researcher
Penny Sparks, Co-Researcher


Thiago Vessoni, 21 years of age, was born in in Sete Quedas, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. He has been studying Agronomy as an undergraduate student at the Universidade Estadual de Maringa since 2009. He received a research scholarship from 2010 to 2012 and the goal of his project was to investigate different kinds of nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rizhobium Genus) and the effect of silica fertilization on production of beans (Phaseolis vulgaris) planted on different dates. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University and is working with forage crop management in the Department of Horticulture & Crop Science.

What is the issue or problem addressed in your research?

The cold and long winters in Ohio limit plant growth in pastures, so farmers must rely on hay and other stored feeds for maintaining livestock during the winter. Many Ohio grain farmers utilize a traditional crop rotation of corn, soybean and wheat. When the wheat grain is harvested in early to mid-July, it is possible to plant a double-crop (second crop of the year) forage species that can grow from mid-summer into the autumn. It is possible to make hay or graze the double-cropped forages before the end of the growing season.

What methodology did you use in your research?

An experiment was been planted at Western Research Station near South Charleston, OH to evaluate the management of sorghum species and oat crops as forages for producing forage from mid-summer into the autumn. Four different rates of nitrogen fertilization were applied to oats that had been established on 19 July and 6 August. The goal of the experiment is to determine the optimal planting date and nitrogen rate to use with this double crop species. The sorghum species are being harvested on different dates and at different cutting heights to determine the best harvest management. All plots are being sampled on a weekly basis to measure dry weight accumulation of the forage over time.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

The purpose of this project is to evaluate several short-season species and management practices for producing forage as double-crops after wheat grain harvest in Ohio. This would improve the efficiency of land use and help farmers produce more forage for livestock.