GFM Network News


Mike Schellenberg and Alan Iwaasa are evaluating the impact of polycrop mixtures on grazing capacity and soil health in the semi-arid prairie.

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




Warmth seen as welcome relief for Manitoba forages

CNS Canada –– A recent wave of warm temperatures is just what’s needed to boost the development of forage crops in Manitoba, which have been slowed due to recent weather, according to two industry experts. “Just within the past week plants are starting to develop, we’re hoping that with the heat they’re forecasting, the crops […] Read more


We need a return to healthy soil

The relationship between soil health and human health has been recognized throughout history

Back in 1400 BC Moses sent his scouts ahead to Canaan to see what the soil was like and bring back fruit. By 400 BC Hippocrates was relating soil health as part of the overall evaluation of patient health. Flash forward to 1940 and R.A. Hayne proclaimed that “only healthy soil can produce healthy people.” […] Read more

Radish to the rescue

The last seven-inch rain reduced Elmy's cover crop options to one – Tillage Radish

Seven inches of rain in one shot late last June left Kevin Elmy with little choice but to throw out the notion of generating income off some of his land that year. Instead, he planted the waterlogged fields to Tillage Radish in hopes of at least conditioning the land. Elmy’s Friendly Acres Seed Farm near […] Read more


Bruce Coulman

Dryland grass breeding in the Canadian Prairies

Bruce Coulman is a professor at the plant sciences department in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. He has helped develop and register 22 forage cultivars through research programs at the University of Saskatchewan and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Highlights include the development of AC Grazeland, a bloat-reduced alfalfa, and […] Read more

2015 Trends in the Canadian forage industry

Regional groups across Canada agree in the need for more recognition and research for forage and grassland

The Canadian forage industry is impacted by dynamics at home and around the globe, as is all of agriculture. In a changing world, producers continually evaluate and build strategies that will support successful business plans. Identifying trends is one way to clarify the picture and provide direction. The following is a look at several trends […] Read more


The forage challenge – higher yield and higher quality

One goal is to break the inverse link between yield and digestibility

Forage production is a vital component of Canadian agriculture, since it covers nearly half of our cultivated land. Moreover, forages make up around 60 per cent of dairy rations and 80 per cent for beef cattle. Innovations in forage production will be essential for these sectors. The challenges and opportunities will mainly hinge on four […] Read more