By maximizing forage yield through grazing management, producers get more pounds of beef per acre.  |  File photo

Grazing management pays off

Alberta cattle producer Sean McGrath has been employing intensive grazing methods for more than 20 years. Steve Kenyon has been doing it just about as long, and Alberta Agriculture grazing expert Grant Lastiwka has been studying it. All of which is to say that high-intensity grazing is sustainable. If you do it right. “From an […] Read more

American researchers say there are benefits to taking cattle off pasture in early September. | File photo

Study questions benefits of extended grazing

For more than a decade, Canadian cattle ranchers and researchers have looked for ways to extend the grazing season. They’ve studied and implemented bale grazing, swath grazing, corn grazing, using crop residues, perennial pastures held in reserve and other techniques to keep cattle on the field in the fall and winter. Meanwhile, American researchers say […] Read more

Zero in on alfalfa to maximize hay quality

VERMILION, Alta. — Figuring out the best time to cut hay is an individual decision, but weather and desired feed quality are important considerations to get the best possible product. “It depends on the performance you need to get out of the cows you are feeding,” said Leila Hickman, an animal science instructor at Lakeland […] Read more

Swath grazing reduces winter feeding costs so producers who use it must plan for it this spring.  |  Duane McCartney photo

Preparing for swath grazing

Picture it: the cattle out feeding themselves on swaths this winter while you, the cattle rancher, have that extra cup of morning java without having to face the cold, start the tractor and haul bales. And it’s cheaper too, given that 65 to 75 percent of cattle production costs come from feed, pasture and bedding. […] Read more

A Saskatchewan cattle producer explains how he has been able to improve his soil since converting from grain production.  |  File photo

Producer puts plants to work as solar panels

Saskatchewan producer says he has found ways to keep things greener longer and capture more energy from the sun

LACOMBE, Alta. — When Blain Hjertaas converted from grain production to holistic grazing management, his main goal was to fix the soil on his Saskatchewan farm. “There is no place on earth that we know about where we can’t fix land,” he said at a recent holistic grazing management conference in Lacombe. “I do it […] Read more

A management plan to protect southwestern Alberta’s parks region is raising concern among ranchers with grazing leases.  |  Alberta Gov’t photo

Ranchers fear park grazing in jeopardy

Ranchers in southwestern Alberta say they want details on the future of grazing in the new Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park, an area where grazing leases have been held for a century in some cases. The Alberta government finalized the boundaries of the two parks Jan. 20 at an announcement in Pincher […] Read more

Forage and beef producers who attended the Western Beef Development Centre’s annual field day examine some of the forage plots at the Termuende Research Ranch near Lanigan, Sask.  |  Brian Cross photo

Methane reduction boosts bottom line

LANIGAN, Sask. — Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation are two phrases that have the potential to cause anxiety among Canadian producers. However, grain growers and ranchers shouldn’t assume that reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the farm will necessarily result in higher operating costs and lower profits. In fact, the exact opposite may be […] Read more

Glenn Hogberg stands in a pasture that was once overgrown with poplar. He used intensive grazing to eliminate the trees and allow the grass to grow.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Hoof power takes care of poplar regrowth

PROGRESS, B.C. — Glenn Hogberg used hoof power instead of horsepower to clear the wood regrowth in his poplar-logged fields. His cattle turned the rough land into pasture through intensive grazing. “The idea is to get the cows to do as much as they can do,” said Hogberg, who farms near Progress, B.C., west of […] Read more