GFM Network News


Regeneratively grazing recycles nutrients to the soil.

It ain’t pretty

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

You may have heard me say this before. A monoculture is ugly, no matter how pretty it looks. This constant drive to manage monoculture cropping has us in a downward spiral of dead soils and added inputs. It is costing us dearly. Nature rarely relies on only one species in an environment. Even a hay […] Read more

The Canadian Beef Advisors is asking producers and other beef industry stakeholders for input on regenerative beef production

Exceptional forages for marginal lands

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Tame forages often outperform native species in head-to-head comparisons under optimal growing conditions. This may not be the case on marginal land, with its tougher environments, poorer soil, rougher topography, harsher climates and precipitation extremes. Beef production is expected to rely more and more on marginal land, at least while returns from cash crops exceed […] Read more


Round bales can be stored under tarps to keep out moisture and reduce rot.

Managing forage in a dry year

Planning for drought needs to occur before drought arrives

Drought is normal in Western Canada and it is not going to go away. We just don’t know when the next drought will be, or how long it will last. “Drought affects two basic parts of the rancher’s business,” says Dr. Art Bailey, range science professor emeritus at the University of Alberta. “On the demand […] Read more

Alberta studies showed 25-57 more grazing days and 31-92 per cent more profit from grass-legume stands versus grass alone.

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


Native species are the Steady Eddies of forages — resilient and consistently able to contribute to performance even during 
extreme-weather years.

Native forages offer resilience against Mother Nature

Long-lived native forages complement tame forages nicely — but they have their own merits that make them more competitive than their tame counterparts

Native forages are making a comeback with cattle feeders who are looking for a way to work with — not against — Mother Nature. “Native species complement tame forages,” said federal research scientist Alan Iwaasa. “When used with tame species, native species have merit and can be used quite effectively if you have the land […] Read more

Quality samples are taken from every plot, assessing diseases, stand establishment and re-growth, among other observations.

At Pickseed, forages are No. 1

Acquisition by a Danish company has allowed a sharp increase in research trials across the country

Forages may lack for attention in Canada’s overall research budget, but not at Pickseed, which has long focused most of its attention on the forage and turf sectors. Now owned by Denmark’s DFL-Trifolium, Pickseed operates seven research stations across Canada, with its main facility in Lindsay, Ont., and another near Port Hope. There are also […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Prairie forage crops perk up with precipitation

CNS Canada — It’s been a slow start for forage crops growing across the Prairies, but the much-needed precipitation is better late than never. “The rain has been a huge help,” said Karin Lindquist, forage specialist with Alberta’s Ag-Info Centre in Stettler. “There are still some areas that could use a bit more, but so […] Read more

cows grazing ryegrass in winter

Ryegrass works for winter grazing cows

The only drawback is some extra birth weight on the calves

Andy Schuepbach, a registered Hereford breeder in southern Alberta, uses two varieties of ryegrass to provide fall and winter feed for his cattle. The high protein content of these grasses eliminates the need for any other protein source. “We grow barley for silage, and after it’s seeded we seed 10 pounds of a mixture of […] Read more


Cows eating grass in a field.

Swift Current researchers take the long view

The central grasslands of the northern great plains of Western Canada is a major forage growing area and makes up a significant portion of the landscape of the Prairies. This semiarid region extends from southwestern Manitoba to southwestern Alberta; north to just below Saskatoon and south to the United States border. Swift Current Ag Canada […] Read more