Latest articles

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

Who will breed the next generation?

Forages aren’t only suffering from a shortage of research dollars, but a shortage of researchers to do the work if the money were available

See if you can answer these two skill-testing agricultural questions. What is the largest crop in Canada? Which crop has one of the poorest records for funding research and breeding programs? If you answered “forages” to both, you’re right. You’ve also put your finger on a chronic problem in Canada’s forage industry. Statistics show the […] Read more

alfalfa seed - Glen Nicoll

Forage breeding faces funding challenges

Government has cut back, private companies are not keen on crops that don’t need to be reseeded every year, and you can’t check off sales to farmers’ own livestock

Forages are Canada’s biggest crop but you wouldn’t know it because of the few resources that go into breeding them. You’d think that, given its size, forage would be a giant in the world of plant breeding. Unfortunately, it’s more of a midget. Canada has only four major publicly funded programs for breeding tame forages, […] Read more

cattle in a feedlot

Tight numbers a concern for livestock marketers

The bloom may soon come off the rose for record-high cattle prices as economic indicators in the United States suggest a coming slowdown in consumer beef demand. That was the message from commodity market analyst Jerry Klassen to the Livestock Market Association of Canada’s annual convention in Winnipeg earlier this summer. A roaring bull market […] Read more

Brown root rot lurking in alfalfa fields

A little-known root disease hiding under the Prairie snowpack this past winter could give alfalfa growers a surprise in spring. Weather conditions were ideal for the development of brown root rot, a potentially damaging disease of forage legumes, including alfalfa. Brown root rot is a soil-borne fungal pathogen with the official name Phoma sclerotioides. It […] Read more