Latest articles


cattle on a pasture

Grass guys developing a forage carbon offset protocol

Forages: News Roundup from the February 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Cedric MacLeod considers carbon sequestration through forages and grasslands and the soils they grow in as a long overdue, up-until-now-grossly-underplayed chit that Canada’s grass and forage producers can finally throw down and claim proper ownership on. “Our members grow forage, many run livestock and most plant annual crops too,” says MacLeod, executive director of the […] Read more


Calf health closely tied to cow nutrition

Six problems you may see with calves if cow nutrition is compromised

Many cows came home in 2017 from pastures parched by drought for much of the grazing season. Without proper supplementation of brood cows through the rest of their gestation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies will show up as health issues next spring with economic consequences that often persist for several more. It is well established that […] Read more



Legumes are best, but…

Nova Scotia researchers are looking at ways to maintain their percentage in forage mixtures under grazing

Not only are legumes a superfood for humans, but they are a superfood for cattle too. In fact, regardless of what type of livestock producers raise, the animals perform better on a diet of grass mixed with legumes than if just on a diet of straight grass, resulting in better weight gain and increased milk […] Read more


Seeking plants with polyculture potential

Choose your species wisely to avoid unintended results

When producers discuss the benefits of growing annual polycultures, also known as multi-species mixes or crop cocktails, the talk often revolves around soil-health and environmental improvements, often­­­times taking forage production for granted. Of course, production does occur, but yield and feed quality may be disappointing if the species chosen target soil problems rather than forage […] Read more



Yikes ­— another crazy winter!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

The winter of 2017-18 is shaping up to be full of unexpected challenges, particularly for those wintering cows in Western Canada. Drought, as well as recent wildfires, have caused many producers to scramble for a forage supply. As well, “old man winter” in all his wisdom has arrived early, with November temperatures in the minus […] Read more




New cold-tolerant clovers

The first arrivals are cover crops, but forages are on their way

When it comes to trying something new, it’s common for growers who rely on their forages to stick with what works. That’s understandable, given the demands for consistency, especially by dairy producers. Yet standing still is rarely a path to success on the farm. Now, in spite of growing concerns surrounding climate change, one seed […] Read more


Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more



Fighting floods and drought — with grass

Manitoba’s forage group is leading a project which will allow more control of water on the landscape

Floods one year, drought the next. As we’ve seen this year, it’s a fact of life for residents of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but a project led by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) may help reduce the extremes. It’s being conducted by Aquanty, a Waterloo, Ont. company that has developed a HydroGeoSphere (HGS) […] Read more


Forage quality from the perspective of 1-billion bacterial cells

Nutrition with John McKinnon

It is a time of year when feedlot operators and cow-calf producers are implementing their winter feeding programs. Forage, whether it is fed as hay, stockpiled forage (i.e. barley swaths or standing corn) or silage will play a big role in the vast majority of these operations. For feedlot operations, good-quality hay is often used […] Read more