West-Central Forage Association

Foraging Opportunities

These projects aim to assist producers find profitability in the market place by assisting them in enhancing economic growth, prosperity and sustainability by extending the grazing season, increasing production, lowering input costs, and promoting diversity in crops. 

In addition to strategies for preserving natural resources and changing production practices, sustainable agriculture requires a commitment to effecting social change. A wide diversity of strategies and approaches are necessary to create a more sustainable food system. Social sustainability will see improved land use, labour, rural community development and increased opportunities and cooperative relationships for family and community members.

The goals of this program are:

  • Reduce costs associated with harvesting, hauling, feeding and storage of conserved feed,
  • Reduce fuel use during winter feeding,
  • Reduce manure removal and corral clean-up costs,
  • Reduce capital costs for equipment and winter stock handling facilities,
  • Reduce labour costs for winter feeding,
  • Improve animal health and reduced veterinary costs,
  • Increase nitrogen capture in the soil through in-field feeding.

Consumers can play a critical role in creating a sustainable food system. Through their purchases, they send strong messages to producers, retailers and others in the system about what they think is important. Food cost and nutritional quality have always influenced consumer choices. The challenge is to find strategies that broaden consumer perspectives, so that environmental quality, resource use, and social equity issues are also considered in shopping decisions.

  • Evaluation of Thunder Seeds' low heat unit corn hybrids

    With the development of lower heat unit corn, the potential for corn production has expanded in the west central region of Alberta. This project compares three new corn varieties by Thunder Seeds, against an established Monsanto variety, to evaluate their suitability for winter feeding cattle....
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  • Oats, Triticale, and Corn Winter Grazing Comparison

    This field scale trial is being done with Sturgeon River Stock Farm, Onoway AB and was completed in partnership with Therese Thompkins, Agri-Trend. A comparison of oats, triticale and corn winter grazing was done. A write up will be in a future issue of Forage Views with the complete results and pr...
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  • Regional Annual Cereal Variety Trials

    The grain and livestock industries have been well served through the advent of the Regional Variety Testing program in Alberta and the subsequent publishing of results in seed.ab.ca. However, one key element was missing. As cattle producers grow ever increasing amounts of annual crops for feed ...
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  • Evaluation of Grazing Corn Varieties to Extend Grazing Season and Reduce Winter Feed Costs in Western Canada

    This research will focus on evaluating low heat unit varieties of corn in an effort to reduce winter feeding costs for beef cattle in western Canada. This will be accomplished by evaluating the agronomics of growing corn across a number of locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and by evaluating fe...
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  • Triticale Swath Grazing

    The objectives of this project were to see if triticale (winter and spring varieties) were a viable option (in terms of nutritional quality, cost of production, utilization and palatably) when compared to other cereal forage crops. The project set out to determine how different varieties of spring...
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  • Cattle & Timber Integration

    This report outlines a study designed to determine the potential effects of cattle grazing on deciduous regeneration following clear cutting of deciduous stands and under proper range management. It was accessed as to whether or not managed cattle grazing at two levels of cattle stocking rates two ...
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  • Horizon Peas Small Plot Trial

    Peas and oats, barley or triticale, or a combination of spring cereals with winter wheat, winter triticale or fall rye, are the two common types of intercropping. Peas are usually included in mixes to improve the quality of the feed....
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  • Sainfoin: Non-Bloat Legume

    In today's farming industry, where sustainability and low input costs are key, sainfoin has a major role to play. The use of all legumes - including sainfoin - started to decline in Western countries from the 1930s with the advent of cheap nitrogen and new strains of highly productive grasses...
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  • Perennial Forage Variety Trials

    This is a five year demonstration trial of perennial forage species which will be observed for establishment in the first year and forage quality and yield samples in subsequent years....
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