Ryegrasses can be “rocket fuel for ruminants,” with high digestibility.

Silage options to rotate away from corn

Ryegrass, triticale, sorghum species all have potential to help avoid corn-on-corn rotations

Reading Time: 2 minutes In Europe, it’s ryegrass. On the Prairies, it’s barley. In areas where either climate or pesticide resistance makes it impractical to grow corn, livestock producers nonetheless achieve good gains or high milk production. And, during a recent session hosted by OMAFRA, crop and livestock specialists encouraged Ontario’s livestock producers to consider rotating away from corn […] Read more

Ontario should have a healthier hay crop across most of the province this year, compared to 2019.

Hay acreage increasing in Ontario

Extra acreage should help reduce costs for farmers who have to buy hay

Reading Time: 3 minutes Hay fields in southwestern Ontario appear in generally good shape following a challenging fall 2019 and winter 2020. But the same can’t be said in eastern portions of the province. Why it matters: For farms that are reliant on hay for livestock feed, a strong early stand is crucial for good yield through the rest […] Read more

Yield, quality and stand persistence are the most important things about forage, an agronomist says.

A good forage stand requires agronomic base

Keys to success include planting at right time, proper seed bed, seed placement, quality seed and weed control

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Farmers seeking to build a strong forage stand need to use proper crop rotations, fertility and water development, a forage agronomist told a recent Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association conference in Moncton, N.B. Peter Ballerstedt, with the seed company Barenbrug USA, said producers must pay attention to agronomy and make amendments before […] Read more

Yield shouldn’t be the only determinant of corn silage hybrid purchase.

Putting value on the effect of undigestible forage fibre

Using highly digestible fibre corn hybrids usually makes financial sense, says researcher

Reading Time: 2 minutes Dairy farmers who put digestibility at the top of their corn hybrid decision-making process should see more profit over those who look solely at yield. Mike Miller, a researcher at the W.H. Miner Institute in New York, says that a multi-year study that looked at the economics of emphasizing digestibility in hybrid decisions, shows that […] Read more

Researcher Gail Carpenter looked at feeding switchgrass to dairy cattle.

Switchgrass can replace straw in dairy rations

However, researchers caution against feeding too much to lactating cows or milk production could drop

Reading Time: 2 minutes Switchgrass has potential as both dairy cow bedding and feed – especially for dry cows. One of its benefits is that it is low in potassium relative to the more commonly used wheat straw. High potassium levels can cause problems for dairy cattle, especially if they are calving during a dry season. Gail Carpenter, a […] Read more


Roger Samson, executive director of REAP-Canada.

Switchgrass breeding makes progress in Ontario

Progress has been made on dormancy, speed of establishment and lodging

Reading Time: 2 minutes Switchgrass breeders have been working patiently for almost 30 years to improve the varieties available for growing in Canada, and they think they are at the point where they believe they have commercial quality varieties. Why it matters: Bioeconomy crops have to be able to compete with other field crops both agronomically and in profitability. […] Read more

Winter wheat harvest two weeks behind, soybean aphids in small numbers

Ontario Field Crop Report for the week of July 22

Reading Time: 3 minutes Winter wheat harvest Harvest has been slow to start in the province, lagging 7-14 days behind last year. Early yield and quality reports have been decent given the late planting date and challenging spring, but more acres will need to be harvested before any generalizations can be made. In fields were there are concerns of […] Read more

Ontario now has nine hay dryers like this one so it can service hay export markets with product dried to 12 per cent moisture suitable for container shipping.

Hay and forage co-op seeks more producers before expanding handling facilities

The goal is to build a hay double-compressor in southern Ontario to serve export markets

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative is part way to attracting enough members to build a new double compacting facility to drive exports, but more committed hay producers are needed. The proposed project is currently planned to handle 100,000 tonnes annually in a 20,000 sq. ft. building with a double compaction press and be located […] Read more


Low lignin content allows for a larger cutting window.

Genetically modified alfalfas find their place

Feed quality, harvest window and seed establishment are benefits

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glyphosate-resistant alfalfa is being planted across about 10,000 acres in Ontario, giving farmers the option to better establish and clean up alfalfa fields, while preserving the valuable legume. HarvXtra alfalfa with Roundup Ready technology, a newer alfalfa found in the eastern Canadian market, also provides low lignin content for improved digestibility along with the Roundup […] Read more

Multi paddock systems allow for grass regrowth and optimal feed for cows and calves.

Cattle turnout timing a balance of forage growth, nutrition

Maintaining top feed quality should be the goal of any pasture system

Reading Time: 3 minutes Producers anxious to turn cattle out onto pasture after the long winter months could sacrifice pasture yield later in the summer if the cattle are turned out too quickly. Why it matters: Turning cattle out to pastures too early or too late has consequences on the cattle’s health, the forage quality and quantity. Tim Prior […] Read more