Cover crops were swathed at the South Dakota Lakes Research Farm and will be grazed over the winter.

Let nature direct ecosystem health

Researcher says agriculture needs to learn from how water, soil function in nature

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have learned more from observing Nature than by trying to change it,” said Dwayne Beck. Beck, the research manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm (DLRF) in Pierre, South Dakota, spoke at the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association conference. Why it matters: Learning how to manage for better soil health is critical for future generations […] Read more

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

Mike Swidersky grazed weaned sheep on a clover cover crop which was underseeded in wheat.

Relationships crucial for farm-to-farm cover crop grazing

Neighboring farmers find mutual benefit in livestock grazing, farming arrangement

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s opportunity for the grazing of cover crops, whether it’s livestock farmers using their own cropland and animals, or offering services to cash-cropping neighbours. That was the overarching message delivered over three successive Tuesday evening Zoom meetings, hosted through November by the Cover Crop Grazing Committee — a collaboration between OMAFRA, Beef Farmers of Ontario, […] Read more

Measuring pasture growth can lead to more efficient management.

Pasture profits lost if precision practices ignored

Research needed to fill knowledge gaps to hasten precision data adoption

Reading Time: 4 minutes The speed at which green grass grows could translate into higher profits if producers implement precision pasture management. “The knowledge gap is the first hurdle to overcome to get to precision pasture management”, says Christine O’Reilly, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) forage and grazing specialist. Why it matters: Forages have seen […] Read more

Beef sector aims for new 2030 targets

Organizations involved in Canada's National Beef Strategy have announced new goals for the beef sector for the next decade

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Canadian beef industry has new benchmarks to reach for in the next decade. The organizations involved in Canada’s National Beef Strategy — the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canada Beef Breeds Council, Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef, The National Cattle Feeders’ Association, Canadian Meat Council and Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef have announced new 2030 […] Read more

Manitoba to open more Crown lands to haying, grazing

Province now taking requests for permits

Reading Time: < 1 minute Manitoba livestock producers up against dry conditions can now apply for temporary passes to get onto Crown land not normally designated for grazing or haying. The province announced Friday it will make such lands available this year for agricultural use “under certain circumstances.” Permits and land uses will be handled through the Agricultural Crown Lands […] Read more

Sheep graze between apple trees at Carrie Woolley and Brett Schuyler’s farm.

Sheep pastures expanded into orchards, woodlots

Norfolk County producers were winners of sheep pasture award

Reading Time: 3 minutes Adding hay and sheep to the output from land that continues as an apple orchard certainly seems like an idea with merit. Add to that the pasturing of sheep and even geese in once-neglected woodlots, and grazing on corn stalks into the early winter, and it’s not surprising the innovations of Norfolk County’s Schuyler Farms […] Read more

Cattle graze at Carlton Angus Cattle Company.

Award winners focus on managing cows and calves on pasture

Fresh water, grazing rotation followed by Mapleseed, TESA winners

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beef Farmers of Ontario hands out two awards for pasture and environmental management — and both usually end up with similarities and that was the case in 2020. Both the Mapleseed Pasture Award winner and The Environmental Stewardship Award winners manage large numbers of cows on pasture and have made strategic decisions to intensively manage […] Read more

Establishing cost of production for pastures means figuring out what the land is worth for rent.

Riding the learning curve on pasture cost of production

The first year will be the toughest, but after that figuring costs should be easier

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farmers may have to rethink some common cost-of-production parameters, but it should be possible to accurately track the financial impact of growing pastures. Grazing specialists explored cost-of-production parameters during a panel discussion at the March Profitable Pastures conference, put on by the Ontario Forage Council in Mount Forest. Why it matters: Soil health can benefit […] Read more

Grazing corn stalks is one option producers have to extend the grazing season.

Cover crop grazing can benefit cattle and soil

Farmers able to extend grazing and save hay costs by planting and managing their cover crops

Reading Time: 4 minutes Grazing beef cattle on cover crops is a great way to save on feed costs and it’s good for the soil, according to three panelists at the Grey-Bruce Farmer’s Week Beef Day. Why it matters: Integrating animals into cropping systems creates a more complete nutrient cycle. Adam Shea, who farms in eastern Ontario, has a […] Read more