GFM Network News


AgCanada forage breeder Surya Acharya has a lot of admirers, including Alberta ranchers Darren Bevans (on left), Doug Wray and Craig Lehr (flanking Acharya) and Graeme Finn (second from right). Also pictured are (from left) science director Reynold Bergen and executive director Andrea Brocklebank from the BCRC along with forage breeder Hari Poudel and forage agronomy technician Brandon Eisenreich from AAFC Lethbridge.

Lethbridge forage breeder receives top beef research award

Surya Acharya is not only prolific but knows what ranchers need in a variety

Reading Time: 2 minutes Renowned forage breeder Surya Acharya is the 2021 winner of the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. “Dr. Acharya is respected and appreciated by academics and producers alike,” said Matt Bowman, an Ontario producer and chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council. “His work addresses real industry obstacles with solutions that consider producers’ needs through […] Read more

While it is important to be aware of risks associated with feeding canola forage, it may provide an alternate forage option for drought-stricken livestock producers.

When using canola for forage keep these factors in mind

Nitrates and sulphur are concerns, as are bloat and scours — and regrowth can be perilous

Reading Time: 3 minutes Poor canola stands not worth harvesting can be an alternate forage option. “While canola makes palatable feed, it may take one or two days for cattle to become accustomed to the taste,” said Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist. Forage canola has a nutrient content similar to alfalfa, with crude […] Read more


There are 75 regulated and prohibited noxious weeds in Alberta.

Weed-free forage program relaunched

Some counties are now offering inspections to ensure invasive weeds are not present in hay

Reading Time: 2 minutes A program aimed at preventing the spread of invasive and noxious weeds via hay is getting a second shot. Alberta’s first go-round with a Certified Weed Free Forage program a decade ago never fully took off but the Alberta Invasive Species Council has revived the initiative. “Use of certified weed-free forage is a best management […] Read more

Forage research gets long-awaited boost

Forage research gets long-awaited boost

Reading Time: < 1 minute Forage research will get a much-needed boost with the creation of a new research position at the University of Saskatchewan. “A 2012 assessment concluded lack of research and development investment in the Canadian forage industry meant advances in forage had not kept pace with developments in other crops,” the Beef Cattle Research Council said in […] Read more


There are several key indicators of pasture productivity that should be tracked, says Manitoba producer Ryan Boyd.

If you’re aiming for pasture perfection, you need a scorecard

Getting maximum production is an elusive target but good records help a lot, says producer

Reading Time: 3 minutes Is your pasture above- or below-average? And if you don’t keep accurate records over time, how do you know? The first step is knowing what your land is capable of producing so you can set a proper grazing rate, says Ryan Boyd. That was driven home for the Manitoba producer when he was awarded a […] Read more

If you plan to test the soil in your forage stand, make sure to get the correct test.

Don’t miss out by neglecting nutrient needs of forages

Nitrogen levels are usually the limiting factor but there are several issues to consider

Reading Time: 5 minutes When you think annual crops, you also think about the fertilizer needs for that crop. But the nutrient needs of the 26-million-plus acres of forages are not often thought of. “Not fertilizing forage stands is often a missed opportunity,” said Ross McKenzie, a former Alberta Agriculture soil and crop researcher. By the end of the […] Read more


A Halictus bee on an aster. This is an example of the native bees that live in Alberta and thrive on diverse plant species.

Native pollinators want to be your buddies

Some simple things can make your land more attractive to pollinators

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s no denying that native pollinators are important — and there are things you can do to encourage these keystone species to come live on your land. Native pollinators are critical for forages and crops, agroforestry specialist Luke Wonneck said during a recent Foothills Forage and Grazing Association webinar. “Pollination is plant sex. Because plants […] Read more

Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more


DUC program to convert cropland to forages

DUC program to convert cropland to forages

Reading Time: < 1 minute A new $5-million program aims to return 125,000 acres of Prairie cropland to grass and pasture over the next three years. The Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) program, with funding from McDonald’s Canada and Cargill, will offer farmers discounted seed and technical support to help establish forages on their land. Converting 125,000 acres of cropland to […] Read more

There are a number of things you need to get right when growing corn, says Sara Meidlinger, a market development specialist with Pride Seeds.  PHOTOs: Supplied

Cows love it but growing corn for silage or grazing can be tricky

Getting the crop off to a good start through seed selection and good seed placement is critical

Reading Time: 4 minutes Corn can be an attractive option for feeding cattle, but there are a lot of specifics to consider when you choose to grow it. “Corn just tastes good and cows love it. It’s more palatable than barley, and it has a better dry matter intake,” Greg Paranych, agriculture field specialist with the Grey Wooded Forage […] Read more