GFM Network News


Ensuring legumes aren't seeded too deep is a critical step in establishing a high-legume pasture.

Going beyond grass: The case for forage legumes

Alberta producers offer the wisdom of their experience — and their gains — from high legume pastures

If you’re fearful that seeding pasture with legumes will be a waste of time and money, several Alberta producers have some tips for you. A new video from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry features producers offering their advice — some of it hard earned — on topics such as seedbed preparation, nutrients, and weed control. Having […] Read more

Provincial forage and beef specialist Karin Lindquist (left) and Kaitlin McLachlan, extension co-ordinator with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, examine some roots during a pasture walk near 
Fourth Creek.

New non-bloating legume can power up your pastures

After years of development, a new and improved 
sainfoin variety is being field tested across the province

High-legume pastures can be profitable and productive, but many cattle producers are scared to use them because of the risk of bloat. That’s why Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta have teamed up to do sainfoin trials across the province. “Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume,” provincial beef […] Read more


Agriculture Canada forage breeder Surya Acharya developed AC Mountainview, which is expected to be commercially available 
next year.

Learn how to benefit from sainfoin

A new sainfoin variety called AC Mountainview will allow producers to add alfalfa to their pastures without fear of bloat

A new variety of sainfoin is the focus of an upcoming training session in Lethbridge on July 21 and 22. “AC Mountainview has the ability to regrow more quickly than older varieties,” said Grant Lastiwka, a provincial forage and livestock business specialist. “Having a non-bloating, early growth and good regrowth legume is certainly something that […] Read more

Cattle love purple prairie clover, and the legume also provides environmental benefits.

Saving the environment one legume at a time

Condensed tannins reduce bloat and do a whole lot more besides

In the environmental debate, some rank cattle up there with smokestacks and auto emissions. But Canadian researchers are discovering Mother Nature has developed her own mitigation strategy for bovine burps, flatulence, and excrement — and showing that grazing cattle has major environmental benefits. In 2000, concerns over cattle and greenhouse gases prompted Allan Iwaasa of […] Read more


A few simple practices can greatly improve pasture productivity, 
says Graeme Finn.

Expert says plan your pastures and save yourself some headaches

Heavy seeding and a weed control strategy geared to specific pasture conditions are key for grazing consultant and rancher Graeme Finn

You can’t just let your cows loose on a piece of grass without proper planning and knowledge. “When I take over land, I assess it and see where we need to go,” grazing consultant Graeme Finn said at the recent Western Canada Grazing Conference. “If we have weed issues, then we control them with chemicals […] Read more

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

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


After years of work by Agriculture Canada forage breeder Surya Acharya is nearly ready to hit the market.

Don’t be fooled by imitations, Mountainview sainfoin not for sale yet

Forage producers are eager to get their hands on AC Mountainview, but it won’t be for sale until 2016

A new variety of sainfoin holds great promise in Alberta forage systems, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “The development and release of the new AC Mountainview sainfoin has caused a bit of a stir in the forage world,” said Linda Hunt, who works in the Stettler branch of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. […] Read more

Sainfoin is prized because it prevents bloat when seeded with alfalfa, but it has taken years of work by Agriculture Canada forage breeder Surya Acharya to develop a hardy variety.

Sainfoin story keeps getting better

Sainfoin is a marvel when it comes to eliminating bloat, but earlier varieties were outcompeted by alfalfa

It’s been neglected for years, but sainfoin is poised to come into its own, with the first new variety that regrows quickly after cutting or grazing due to come onto the market in 2015. In rotational grazing trials at Lethbridge last year, sainfoin-alfalfa pastures produced more than 400 kilograms of beef per hectare with no […] Read more