Latest articles

Annual clovers to the rescue

Annual clover may be just the remedy if your pastures and hayland are looking a little under the weather this spring. Performance Seed, a newly established forage seed company at Lethbridge, Alta., is introducing two new low no-bloat annual clover varieties that show good potential as stand-alone crops or in blends for grazing, hay, silage […] Read more

All in on year-round grazing

Stephen Hughes’ family has operated the Chinook Ranch near Longview, Alta., since the late 1940s. It consists of 5,000 acres, roughly half in Crown lands, and most of it in tall grass prairie to carry 500 cows year-round plus 500 yearlings in the summer. It was a traditional operation, raising hay to carry the cows […] Read more

Species at risk adds new emphasis to managing grasslands

New project looks at satellite mapping Canada’s range and forage lands

The management of species at risk on pasture, rangelands and wild lands is an issue of considerable interest to most cattle producers. As a result it was highlighted at a workshop jointly sponsored by Environment and Climate Change Canada during the International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon last summer. Several provincial environmental farm plans and producer-run […] Read more

Sainfoin, alfalfa and grass mixtures being tested

High legume pasture project in process

A sprinkling of a new sainfoin was enough to ignite renewed interest in high legume pastures across Alberta and British Columbia last year. The case for high legume pastures was made long ago, both in research trials and in the field by experienced producers with the skill and nerve to turn up the alfalfa content […] Read more

Forages for all seasons

Nerbas family’s grazing program focuses on quality

The Nerbas family’s grazing program wouldn’t be the success it is without cattle that thrive in a forage-only system and the breeding program wouldn’t be the success it is without quality forage to optimize the cattle’s genetic potential. Figuring out how to mesh everything together to support three families has been a work in progress […] Read more

Drilling down on carbon sequestration

New 10-year study looks for a more accurate formula to calculate the carbon-swallowing value of native grass

Ranchers in all three Prairie provinces are taking part in a decade-long study to assess the cumulative effect of different grazing systems on carbon sequestration and other ecological benefits from a working ranch. In each province, 10 pastures managed under adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing systems for at least 10 years will be paired with neighbouring […] Read more

Target sustainable grazing

Cover crops and holistic management practices on the Richards' farm in Saskatchewan

Garry Richards is seeing positive results from holistic management on the farm where he grew up near Bangor, Sask. He and his wife Lynn and three children are making it work with little outside input. “This farm was homesteaded in 1902 by my grandfather. My mother and father farmed here, then I went away to […] Read more

At Pickseed, forages are No. 1

Acquisition by a Danish company has allowed a sharp increase in research trials across the country

Forages may lack for attention in Canada’s overall research budget, but not at Pickseed, which has long focused most of its attention on the forage and turf sectors. Now owned by Denmark’s DFL-Trifolium, Pickseed operates seven research stations across Canada, with its main facility in Lindsay, Ont., and another near Port Hope. There are also […] Read more

Grass is a crop too

Just because forage is on marginal land doesn’t mean it should get marginal management, says a recent Beef Cattle Research Council study

If grain farmers routinely fertilize their crops to get higher yields and profits, why don’t forage producers do the same to their pastures? That question is at the heart of a recent Beef Cattle Research Council study into improving forage yields in Canada. The study notes that while annual crops have seen significant yield increases […] Read more

The challenges of growing quality forages

There are many reasons why production and quality may be less than ideal

Perception that forages are too weather-dependent or that producers plant one year and leave them alone for three must be challenged. The name varies from farm to farm and from one region of the country to another. Some refer to it under the blanket term “forage” while others attempt to be more specific — hay, […] Read more