GFM Network News


While it is important to be aware of risks associated with feeding canola forage, it may provide an alternate forage option for drought-stricken livestock producers.

Drought-stressed canola a possible forage for livestock

Poor canola stands may provide an alternate forage option for drought-stricken livestock producers

Drought stress has resulted in poor canola stands that are unable to be harvested in North Dakota. Poor canola stands may provide an alternate forage option for drought-stricken livestock producers. “Livestock producers facing forage shortages may be able to feed their cows canola, provided they take certain precautions,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University […] Read more

Rye ready for chopping at milky head stage.

Hybrid fall rye offers high yield, flexibility to beef producers

This relatively new forage can be grown for grazing, silage or grain, and can fit into double-cropping systems

Hybrid fall rye is one of the newer forage options available today, and can be a good fit to producers looking for a high-yielding feed with flexibility. Herman Wehrle, director of commercialization and market development at FP Genetics, says his job is to bring new crops to the marketplace. “After five years of commercialization, we […] Read more


Tips for managing through a drought

Tips for managing through a drought

News Roundup from the June 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

It’s a given that farmers and ranchers will face drought cycles over their lifetimes, and as the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) notes, managing forage and water through those cycles is challenging. Drought reaches beyond the southern Prairies, too — as Saskatchewan Agriculture recently noted, even producers in northern growing regions with plenty of sloughs, […] Read more

Sweet clover is grown extensively for forage, but mould can create an anticoagulant in hay or silage.

Beware sweet clover poisoning during calving

As one producer discovered, sweet clover poisoning can trigger widespread hemorrhaging, especially during calving season

Pilgrim Winslow’s life had mainly been in the fast lane of oil exploration, successful businesses and high-level finance. He retired early and bought a half-section farm east of Regina. Winslow had built a small barn, a set of corrals and spent his days looking after 16 two-year-old Hereford heifers, bred to calve near the end […] Read more


Yearling steers grazed each site for about 30 to 40 days in August and September for three years.

Grazing binary forage mixtures during the summer slump

A University of Saskatchewan study evaluates new grass and legume varieties at two different soil zones in the province

Grazing grass and legume mixtures in late summer and fall has the potential for promising gains, research conducted in south and central Saskatchewan shows. There are proven benefits to including a legume in a mixture to improve grass pastures. But researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) saw an […] Read more

Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more


Before settlement in the B.C. interior, fires were a normal part of keeping grass from building up in the forest understory.

Fighting forest fires with cattle

Targeted grazing keeps the risk down around British Columbia interior communities

There’s a new group of firefighters in British Columbia, but not the usual two-legged kind. They’re cattle and they’re just doing what they do naturally — grazing — but under the watchful eye of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. It’s leading a project to use a management tool called “targeted grazing” to reduce the intensity of […] Read more

The South East Research Farm’s trial on soybeans and flowery silage corn after frost.

Forage intercropping trials show promise in Western Canada

Research is underway to fully understand the best practices for incorporating forage mixtures in this cropping method

The practice of intercropping is receiving more attention on the Prairies, and research centres are exploring the possibilities for forage options. The potential benefits are promising, researchers say, but more work is needed to provide producers with accurate information on how best to apply this method. “I think it’s really interesting that there’s some combinations […] Read more


New interactive forage selection tool launched for Western Canada

New interactive forage selection tool launched for Western Canada

The Saskatchewan Forage Council is excited to announce the launch of Forage U-Pick, a new interactive forage species selection tool for Western Canada. Designed to provide users with information for forage selection, seeding rates, and weed management, Forage U-Pick is a mobile-friendly tool offering timely and efficient advice. Forages for hay and pasture are essential […] Read more

Smoke hangs over a pasture in a dry year. Maintaining perennial systems is critical to avoiding more carbon losses to the atmosphere, says Denis Angers.

Perennial forage systems offer environmental, production benefits

More research is needed to better understand the effects of specific management practices in forage production under Canadian conditions

By optimizing the amount of carbon returned to the soil, forage production can play a major role in carbon sequestration while improving soil quality. Not only does this benefit yield, it has environmental advantages. “Soils contain two to three times more carbon than the vegetation or atmosphere, and that’s why we talk about soil carbon […] Read more