Latest articles


What’s best, grazing or haying, or both?

Depending on what you want from the land, and the level of production, you do have options

Grazing a piece of ground rather than haying it can have some advantages. Even irrigated pasture can be more productive than the same ground used for haying, especially with rotational grazing and good management. Irrigated pasture has high production potential and ability to regrow rapidly, especially if water is put back on it right after […] Read more


Set your grazing strategy early

Grazing: News Roundup from the June 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Weather is unpredictable, so developing a grazing strategy for the rest of the season is an important tool. Beef, forage, and livestock specialists at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) recently offered some thoughts on the factors that producers should keep in mind when formulating a plan. “May and June are typically Alberta’s wetter months, so […] Read more



To tackle a plant pathogen, get the ID right first

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

With more advanced equipment and technology, experts like Dr. Sarah Hambleton from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) continue to refine our understanding of different plants and fungi. A recent case in point occurred when Hambleton, whose specialty is identifying fungi, and in particular rust, was sent a sample of contaminated switchgrass from Ontario to identify […] Read more


Ranchers rewarded for preserving species at risk on native range

Sask. producers find balance between beef production and nature

Beef producers in southwestern Sask­atchewan are being rewarded for ensuring that species at risk have a home on native pastures. Tom Harrison is a rancher and executive director of the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program Inc. (SODCAP), an organization founded in 2014 to create and maintain habitat for species at risk on native […] Read more



Dan Undersander’s thoughts on forages

Extension agronomist offers his tips on growing high-quality forages

Dan Undersander, a forage extension agronomist from the University of Wisconsin, is one of North America’s best known promoters of high-quality forages. I have known and worked with Undersander for many years and sometimes we would be on the same program. As he will be retiring this summer, I wanted to record some of his […] Read more


Saline-tolerant AC Saltlander under the microscope

New research shows forage's potential cost benefit

It takes a good deal of time to develop a new forage variety and determine the best way to manage it but in the case of AC Saltlander green wheatgrass the timing couldn’t be better for Prairie producers growing anxious about future droughts. AC Saltlander is a perennial green wheatgrass with a high tolerance for […] Read more



cattle grazing

Good grazing means manage for what you want

Soil and grass health is vital to achieve sustainability in our cattle industry

For many, rangeland represents a tough, unresponsive “thing” that resists use and abuse with unlimited regeneration potential. Good cattlemen know that the actual restoration potential of rangeland and pasture is limited. Preservation and rejuvenation of rangeland must be carefully managed. Soil and grass health is an earmark for the cattle industry and a vital signal […] Read more


PastureMap: a digital ranch hand

Grazing management software helps track pasture performance

PastureMap is grazing management software sold around the world that got its start in no small measure because of Christine Su’s lifelong struggle with food allergies. “This drove me to try to source beef and dairy products from local farmers and ranchers that I knew, here in California. This opened my eyes to how complex […] Read more



An ecological approach to forage research

Top AAFC research scientist shares his thoughts on growing forages

Dr. Shabtai Bittman, one of Canada’s top sustainable cropping systems research scientists at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre in Agassiz, B.C., says growing forages for hay and pasture is very different than growing grain crops. “With forages, we are dealing with perennial crops that are subject to encroachment from other grasses and from weeds, […] Read more


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