Latest articles


A plug for grass-legume mixes for grazing

An ideal pasture depends on the goals of the producer

Research over the years in various regions has looked at the potential and advantages of grass-legume mixtures for pasture. A diversified pasture stand allows for different plants to thrive in different conditions, adding drought resistance. Legumes have a deep tap root and can penetrate deeper into the soil profile where there’s more moisture. Pastures with […] Read more


round hay bales in field

Forage testing more complicated, but rations more accurate

Forage testing has evolved significantly in the past three to five years, with more precise tools for livestock ration development

Forage quality evaluation has moved from rule of thumb to rule of rumen. Mark Bowman, a ruminant nutritionist with Grand Valley Fortifiers in Cambridge, Ont., told the annual meeting of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association in Guelph last November that forage testing has evolved significantly in the past three to five years, with more […] Read more



Putting science into grass management

The Grazing Response Index scores foliage removal, grazing period and recovery time

When it came out of Colorado in the 1990s, the Grazing Response Index (GRI) was strictly at home on the range. Now Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Jodie Horvath says that, with a few tweaks, the grass management tool can help graziers on Western Canada’s tame pastures, too. “When you’re a farmer, a lot of things feel […] Read more


Spurge purge tests bovine palates

Goats and sheep can eat leafy spurge. Can cattle be trained to do the same?

Like a parent convincing kids to eat their vegetables because they’re good for them, Jane Thornton is trying the same approach with getting cattle to eat leafy spurge. “Contrary to popular belief, leafy spurge is a very nutritious plant, comparable to alfalfa in quality,” Thornton says. “If cattle can become accustomed to eating leafy spurge […] Read more



Don’t call it ‘cover,’ call it ‘feed’

How sacrificing some silage yield can gain another six to 10 tons of forage per acre

Tom Kilcer says farmers are missing an opportunity to create greater value from cover crops by using them in a carefully planned winter forage system. He’s promoting a system that gives up some yield in corn silage planted after the winter forage in order to gain overall total yield over a whole growing season.  Kilcer, […] Read more


My cover crop

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

There has been lots of excitement during the last few years over cover crops. The soil conferences and seminars have been full of cover crop talks and trade shows are full of salesmen. It is the latest craze in agriculture and I agree that there are a lot of situations where the cover crop is […] Read more



Pasture blends

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Most forage seed companies offer a pasture blend. Some customize their blend to the customer’s situation, but others use a least-cost formulation to produce a more attractively priced blend. Ideally, the blend should contain grasses and legumes that grow well together, are well adapted to the environment and soil type they will be seeded in, […] Read more


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