GFM Network News

Assess, measure, innovate, and make money with your grazing plan, says Doug Wray, who has been working on his grass management for two decades.

Grass is your foundation, but great grazing doesn’t happen by itself

Irricana rancher Doug Wray intensively manages his 
five dozen paddocks and makes their health his top priority

Reading Time: 5 minutes After two decades of refining his grazing plan, Doug Wray knew long before the snow melted which of his 60 paddocks would be the first to see cows. The Irricana rancher also has a rough plan for all of his 2,000 acres of pasture for the rest of spring and into summer — but Mother […] Read more

Big or small, data makes all the difference, says veteran cattleman

Big or small, data makes all the difference, says veteran cattleman

Doug Wray is a well-known intensive grazing expert but he’s also an advocate 
of using genomics to push herd performance

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you want to make more money on your ranch, get more data. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Irricana cattleman Doug Wray said at the recent Livestock Gentec conference. “We measure a lot of things. To have a successful ranching operation, you have to manage the resources you have. Every ranch is different.” […] Read more

Award recognizes producers who help pollinators

Award recognizes producers who help pollinators

Nominations open until August 12

Reading Time: < 1 minute Nominations are being sought for the 2016 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. Individuals or families in Canada currently implementing pollinator protection measures on their farm or ranch are encouraged to apply. The award recognizes farmers and ranchers who have made significant efforts in conserving natural ecosystems, fostering additional pollinator habitat, and protecting pollinators. It is […] Read more

This year’s field day at the Peace Country Beef and Forage Association’s plot trials in Fairview in August drew a big crowd, eager to learn about yields and feed quality in their forage test plots.

Hay! Guess who’s hiring a forage researcher?

New forage research job at Beaverlodge is a pleasant surprise 
after years of funding cutbacks

Reading Time: 4 minutes The forage industry has been asking for more researchers for a long time and finally, it seems the federal government has listened. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently issued a job posting for a forage researcher at its Beaverlodge research farm. It’s a term job — running until 2018 — but a step in the right […] Read more

harvesting a hay crop in a field

Advocating for forage crops is critical work and needs to continue

The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association works 
on a tight budget, but is in it for the long haul

Reading Time: 3 minutes Recent reports on the financial situation of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association suggest its future is grim. But while we’ll be on a tight budget in the coming year, the association is on firm financial footing and we intend on being around for a long time. In fact, the need for an organization like […] Read more

Ron Pidskalny, executive director of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, has resigned after one year in the position, recognizing the association is short of funds. Photo: Allan Dawson

Canadian Forage and Grassland Association short of funds, and a manager

The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) set up five years ago to help Canada’s struggling forage and grassland industry is struggling itself, but vows to carry on despite a shortage of funds and the resignation of its executive director, Ron Pidskalny. “Nobody is saying we’re going to have to shut it down,” CFGA chair […] Read more


Long-term investment — not quick-fix funding — needed for forage research

Not only is public funding scarce and the payback too low to tempt the private sector, 
there’s not many forage researchers left

Reading Time: 3 minutes With many veteran researchers reaching retirement age and research budgets being slashed, regaining lost capacity for long-term forage research will be an uphill battle, said the chair of a national forage association. “To have somebody commit to long-term funding when most of the funding is based on a two- or three-year window is a real […] Read more

Forages and grasslands are not just about cattle and hay, they also provide a major environmental benefit for all Canadians.  Photo: Canadian Forage and Grassland Association

It’s Canada’s biggest crop – but forage research remains a hard sell

There has been a dramatic drop in forage research, but it’s not just 
because producers could make more money growing canola

Reading Time: 4 minutes More than 52 million acres in Alberta are currently used to graze livestock or produce crops like alfalfa and timothy hay, but farmers who manage grasslands and forage fields say their industry is declining so rapidly its future is at risk. “The long-term graph of forage research shows a dramatic drop — probably 70 per […] Read more

Canada needs to invest to keep forage sector vigorous

Reading Time: 3 minutes Irricana rancher Doug Wray is the president of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association. In mid-May, he spoke to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. He began by noting Canada’s 13 million cultivated hectares of forages (the country’s largest cultivated crop) and 15 million hectares of native pastures and rangeland generate […] Read more