GFM Network News


One of two new cold-tolerant clovers, FIXatioN Balansa will come into Canada as a cover first, then as a forage.

New cold-tolerant clovers

The first arrivals are cover crops, but forages are on their way

When it comes to trying something new, it’s common for growers who rely on their forages to stick with what works. That’s understandable, given the demands for consistency, especially by dairy producers. Yet standing still is rarely a path to success on the farm. Now, in spite of growing concerns surrounding climate change, one seed […] Read more

Unlike the table-flat Red River Valley to the east, western Manitoba has a range of elevations such as these along the Birdtail River.

Fighting floods and drought — with grass

Manitoba’s forage group is leading a project which will allow more control of water on the landscape

Floods one year, drought the next. As we’ve seen this year, it’s a fact of life for residents of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but a project led by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) may help reduce the extremes. It’s being conducted by Aquanty, a Waterloo, Ont. company that has developed a HydroGeoSphere (HGS) […] Read more


The Canadian milkvetch nursery as seen during a tour of the Swift Current forage trials this summer.

Giving birth to new native grasses

Forages: News Roundup from the November 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Native forage breeders at Swift Current Research and Development Centre spend their careers attempting to capture and transfer the diversity of native forages into new composite varieties that offer better health and productivity than the originals. “It takes multiple years to identify what we want and then make sure that a characteristic we are highlighting […] 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


Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Environmental goods and services offer more questions than answers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The beef industry takes pride in how forage, grazing and beef production benefit the environment. These environmental goods and services (EG&S) include carbon sequestration, plant and wildlife habitat, reduced soil erosion, watershed recharging, scenery, etc. While consumers pay for beef, the EG&S are free. For instance, many ducks need grasslands and wetlands to nest and […] Read more

GRI gets the green light for tame pastures

GRI gets the green light for tame pastures

Forage: News Roundup from the June 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Putting numbers to three observations that form the Grazing Response Index (GRI) will give you a good idea as to whether your management practices will benefit, harm or have no effect on plant health in the long run. If the scores for grazing intensity, grazing frequency, and opportunity for regrowth during the growing season on […] Read more


Overgrazing is a matter of timing

Overgrazing is a matter of timing

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

Overgrazing. It is a very misunderstood term. Let me clear this up right at the start. It does not matter how many head of livestock. It does not matter how many acres. Everyone wants to know, “How big do I make my paddocks? How many animals should I have on my pasture?” Two ranchers can […] Read more

Species at risk adds new emphasis to managing grasslands

Species at risk adds new emphasis to managing grasslands

New project looks at satellite mapping Canada’s range and forage lands

The management of species at risk on pasture, rangelands and wild lands is an issue of considerable interest to most cattle producers. As a result it was highlighted at a workshop jointly sponsored by Environment and Climate Change Canada during the International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon last summer. Several provincial environmental farm plans and producer-run […] Read more


Drilling down on carbon sequestration

Drilling down on carbon sequestration

New 10-year study looks for a more accurate formula to calculate the carbon-swallowing value of native grass

Ranchers in all three Prairie provinces are taking part in a decade-long study to assess the cumulative effect of different grazing systems on carbon sequestration and other ecological benefits from a working ranch. In each province, 10 pastures managed under adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing systems for at least 10 years will be paired with neighbouring […] Read more

Dr. Edward Bork, 
Mattheis Chair, 
Rangeland Ecology.

The case for carbon storage

Alberta grasslands study to help develop policies

Good-news stories for beef producers are beginning to flow out from a massive dataset collected during a three-year carbon benchmarking study done to evaluate the effects of long-term grazing on native grasslands of Alberta. Some of the findings won’t surprise beef producers who see the positive effects first hand, but this is the first time […] Read more