GFM Network News


Sweeter forage grasses may benefit milk production

Different classes of livestock can make better use of forage mix

Spring is the time of rebirth. This year our livestock is not scheduled for babies till late spring so we have more time than usual to study, read, and plan our 2018 pasture season. While reading over garden catalogues my mind keeps turning to old ideas of turnip grazing, mangels (large beet) or potato choppers. […] Read more

Medicago sativa in bloom (Alfalfa)

Successful forage establishment

Q & A with CPS

Q: What are the top factors for successful forage establishment? A: To grow a productive forage crop, consider important factors like soil, weeds, previous crop and herbicide residues. Identify and consider the impact of soil factors like flooding, drainage, low pH (acidity), texture and salinity that may impede establishment, productivity or species/variety selection. Control winter annual, biennial […] Read more


It is important that this south Saskatchewan cow and all bred females that may be out on dry grass or crop residue in late fall, be supplied with proper nutrients to keep their unborn calves healthy and growing.

Cow ration will have long-term impact in calf

?Feed the grow?ing unborn calf??, and ?meet the cow’??s w?inter requirements

In fall I visit several different cow herds going into winter. One of the first herds I saw this year was a 300 Angus-Simmental cows grazing drought-stricken pasture. I understood from the producer that his herd was nearly four months pregnant and the calves were going to be weaned about a month earlier than in […] Read more



The Sask Barley Development Commission has provided seed money to research ways to drop DON levels in barley.

High tech feed research on the Prairies

The Canadian Feed Research Centre puts tech to work to increase the value of feed grain

From the outside, the Canadian Feed Research Centre doesn’t look much different from a regular feed mill. But the Centre, tucked into an industrial area of North Battleford, is a national institution, says Rex Newkirk. “It’s the only one in Canada of this nature. It’s one of the very few in the world where we […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Hay shortage could make for difficult winter

CNS Canada — Many cattle producers looking for local feed this winter might have a difficult time, according to a Saskatchewan provincial forage specialist. However, producers further north in the grey and black soil zones, and those in Alberta producing high-quality feed for export, saw near-record hay production. Terry Kowalchuk of Saskatchewan Agriculture in Regina […] Read more


(Photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Manitoba forages fight past winterkill, pest issues

CNS Canada — The first hay cut is well underway in several parts of Manitoba as favourable weather conditions set the stage for what could be a decent forage season. “Generally speaking they’re (forages) all doing well,” said Pamela Iwanchysko, farm production extension specialist with the provincial government in Dauphin. “The rains were timely.” What […] Read more

This grass cage with rain gauge is on a multi-species pasture with 
three species of legumes and three grass species.

Multi-benefits of multi-species pastures

Collecting plenty of solar rays above ground benefits soil health below ground

I am a big fan of diversity in both perennial and annual grazing situations. In some ways multiple species are more difficult to manage than less-diverse plant communities. In a multi-species scenario every action and in particular its timing will favour one species over another and shift the balance of power in the pasture. The […] Read more


Deciding on cover crop blends

Deciding on cover crop blends

Figuring out what to use in a cover crop blend can be an intimidating process. What species to use? What seeding rate? When should they be seeded? All would influence how the blend would look, work, and the success of it. There is some science involved, but making it work is as much art as […] Read more

Kevin Elmy of Saltcoats, Sask., uses a wide variety of plant species in his cover crop mix.

Planning fertilizer for forage crops

Some food for thought on fertilization to establish forage crops in your fields

Forage crops are sometimes treated as the neglected child. Once it is established, come along with a haybine if there is enough rain to make a crop. If it continues to rain after the bales are off maybe even come in to get a small second cut. Grass hay crops are often left to wither […] Read more