Animal inventory based on their weight can come up with a true requirement for feed, but producers often don’t know the real weight of their animals.  |  File photo

Better management urged for forage inventory

An Ontario forage specialist says it’s difficult for producers to plan for a shortfall if they don’t know how much they have

MONCTON, N.B. — Most forage grown in Canada is used on the farm where it is grown but many farmers do not have a good handle on their inventory or yields. “If you don’t know what you have in inventory, how can you manage the shortfall?” asked Ontario forage and grazing specialist Christine O’Reilly. Bad […] Read more

Many cattle producers, especially in southern Saskatchewan, are going to have to scratch around to find feed this winter. | File photo

Hay shortage could make winter feeding difficult in Sask.

Many cattle producers looking for local feed this winter might have a difficult time, says Saskatchewan Agriculture’s provincial forage specialist. Terry Kowalchuk of Saskatchewan Agriculture said many cattle producers, especially in southern areas, are going to have to scratch around to find feed this winter. Kowalchuk said localized shortages will prompt industrious producers to find […] Read more

Crude protein content in feed fell one percent to 9.5 percent btween 2005 and 2015. The issue affects bison as well as cattle.   |  Barb Glen photo

Dwindling protein levels in forage could prove costly

BIG SKY, Mont. — Climate change could lead to diminishing protein in feed for livestock, says an American ecologist who studies animal diets and grasslands. In fact, he said the protein content in grass and forage has already dropped and the slow decline has escaped major attention. Joseph Craine, co-founder of Jonah Ventures and former […] Read more

Native forages can allow producers to extend the grazing season and let cattle do the harvesting and fertilizing.  |  File photo

Native forages a valuable pasture resource

Simple mix (7 species):

The resilience, longevity and adaptability of native forages make them an important grazing resource for prairie cattle producers. Even so, the value of native versus tame forages can generate controversy, says Agriculture Canada grazing management specialist Alan Iwaasa. It’s a controversy he avoids, but he has focused his research on letting Mother Nature do much […] Read more

Growers in some northern Alberta regions fear “genetic modifications may not be able to be controlled” and will harm markets for the region’s alfalfa seed growers.  |  File photo

Alberta county asks farmers to keep GM alfalfa out

A county in Alberta’s Peace River region is asking farmers not to plant genetically modified alfalfa. The matter is moot right now because Roundup Ready alfalfa is not available to growers in Western Canada. However, HarvXtra, a GM variety with stacked Roundup Ready and low lignin traits, was offered on a limited basis in Eastern […] Read more

The Saskatchewan and federal governments announced $3.5 million in beef and forage research funding this week.  |  Michael Raine photo

Beef, forage research receives Sask. funding

The Saskatchewan and federal governments announced $3.5 million in beef and forage research funding this week. The amount is down considerably from last year, but provincial agriculture minister Lyle Stewart said the 2016 total was unusually high because of some unique projects. The University of Saskatchewan will receive the lion’s share of the funding at […] Read more

Forage report provides Sask. growers with market assessment

Saskatchewan forage yields were up in 2016, but quality was down from 2015 and forage prices are significantly lower this year because of excess supply, says a report published by the Saskatchewan Forage Council. “In 2016, hay production yields were slightly above the long-term averages for the province and hay prices are significantly lower than […] Read more

John Szczepanski of the U.S. Forage Export Council says China is looking for high-quality alfalfa for the dairy sector.  |  Ed White photo

China’s growing dairy sector sees forage demand rise

The oft-ignored offshore forage market is getting bigger, even while some traditional markets are getting smaller, says the head of the U.S. forage exporters’ organization. “2016 registered the first time the Chinese market (was) a bigger export market than Japan,” John Szczepanski of the U.S. Forage Export Council said during the Canadian Forage and Grassland […] Read more

Seed grower says all wheatgrasses are in short supply, especially northern and western varieties. | AAFC photo

Find forage seed supply early, expect to pay more

Seed grower says acres are down for almost all forage and grass seeds, creating a supply shortage and sending prices up

LEDUC, Alta. — Strong cattle markets, a strong U.S. dollar, dry weather and dwindling forage acres have pushed grass and forage seed prices to some of the highest levels in years. Heather Kerschbaumer, president of Forage Seed Canada, said her family’s Golden Acre Seeds paid growers 11 cents a pound for sweet clover seed when […] Read more