News from the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association
CFGA Quarterly Newsletter
July 2017
Greetings from the CFGA Chair
The busy season is upon us and I know some of us are feeling challenged by less than ideal weather issues. Despite the challenges, we have much to celebrate. Forages are a $5 billion industry - the largest single crop grown in Canada - and they provide a significant contribution to carbon sequestration. CFGA is taking an in-depth look at just how significant thanks to funding for the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP). Be sure to read the update about the AGGP in this newsletter.
Work also continues on expanding markets for the forage industry through the AgriMarketing Program. Watch for more details on that in future newsletters.

AGGP update
Work is well underway for the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP). Since beginning the project in February, the CFGA has reviewed existing quantification protocols and greenhouse gas mitigation research from across Canada and around the world.
"This literature review will provide an understanding of what is currently out there," says AGGP project lead Josh Lamont. "Our goal is not to duplicate existing quantification protocols but fill and improve on the gaps that presently exist."
The CFGA is also working with producer groups and experts to identify Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) for forage and rangeland producers that improve the ability to sequester carbon in the soils. These BMP's will be developed into a manual that will outline the methodology in the quantification protocol and showcase how producers can use the BMP's to implement carbon projects.

Nov. 14-16, 2017
8th Annual CFGA Conference
The 8th annual CFGA Conference in Guelph, Ont., Nov. 14 to 16, is shaping up to be another phenomenal event.
Pre-conference tour
This year's pre-conference tour will be on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and will feature four interesting stops:
* Creek Edge Farms, a modern dairy facility using robotic technology
* Marhaven Agri Inc. for a demonstration of state-of-the-art hay drying equipment
* The University of Guelph's Elora Research Station beef and dairy facilities 
* Horst Welding, a farm equipment manufacturer
The tour is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes round-trip transportation and lunch. The cost is $80, plus HST. 
Featured speaker: Don W. Lobb
Don W. Lobb, of Don Lobb & Associates, has joined the roster of speakers at the conference.
Lobb owned a successful farming operation that became a model f or sustainable land use for both agricultur e and nature and attracted visitors from six continents.  He was heavily i nvolved in innovation and agricultural research and has experience w ith a wide range of agronomy practices, l and drainage, nutrient management, pest management and erosion control. He was particularly successful in organizing collaboration among farmers and their supporters to accelerate the adoption of soil care practices.
Lobb's efforts have been recognized by the Soil and W ater Conservation Society, the Soil Conservation C ouncil of Canada, the Ontario Institute of Agrologists, the University of Guelph and Environment Canada. He maintains a keen and active interest in agriculture, particularly in sustainable soil management.
Lobb will present 150-Year Retrospective on the Benefits of Soil to Long-term Production of Forages and Food as part of the opening plenary session on Nov. 15.
More info
For more information, or to register, visit the conference website .
Congratulations to the 8th annual CFGA conference sponsors
Message from New Holland
Hay quality confirmed by RFV
For producers involved with selling hay, having the ability to sort, stack and ship by Relative Feed Value (RFV) can greatly improve their ability to make sure that each customer gets the quality level of hay they expect. The best way to use precision RFV values is to affix that information to each bale for the life of the bale, from the field, to the buyer, to the feeder. That can all be done using a CropID tagger system.
Alberta Forage Industry Network
Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN) continues to promote forages and grasslands in the province of Alberta and beyond!

John Bland continues to be the CFGA board representative for Alberta. 

AFIN has secured an industry seat on the Alberta Weed Regulatory Advisory Committee (AWRAC) when we learned that several forage species were under review to be placed on the Alberta Weed Control Act. AWRAC is tasked to review any species deemed invasive and completes thorough investigations to determine whether to list species within the Act.

Our efforts are focused on ensuring inoculant availability for lower acreage forage legumes and letters were sent to federal and provincial government officials voicing AFIN's concerns. Work continues to find long-term resolutions to this issue.
We also continue to encourage the use of high legume pastures throughout Alberta with trials conducted by the Agriculture Research & Extension Council of Alberta partners.
Practice, weather and technology help make the perfect hay crop
By Susanne Wagner

Don Rowntree is keeping one eye on his weather app these days as he cuts and bales 200 acres of hay. He's hoping it is as good as what he cut last year. The Georgetown-based forage farmer and owner of Via Pax ET Ltd. is one of the 2017 Milk Maker winners of the Ontario Forage Council annual hay competition.
Rowntree placed first in the Alfalfa Hay Class and second in the Grass Hay Class with samples from his 2016 hay crop. He took 10 samples from multiple bales and sent them to an independent lab which tested all the competition entries.

Read More
Exporter profile
Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative
Representatives from the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative visited Dubai April 7 to 17 to look at hay market opportunities for the co-op and to establish contacts in the industry. Sharing a bus tour with delegates from Alberta Agriculture and with a lot of help from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai, the group visited farms, hay stores and distributors all over the Unites Arab Emirates (UAE). They also attended the AGRA-ME agricultural tradeshow and talked shop with buyers and sellers from all over the world.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia represent a huge market for Canadian hay with the UAE alone using approximately two million tonnes of hay per year.  A government-imposed irrigation ban that reserves water use for high-values crops only means these countries will no longer use precious water resources to irrigate forages. Instead they will purchase the hay on the open market and the government will subsidize farmers to purchase the hay.
Food security is an important policy aspect for these countries and a substantial numbers of animals use hay in the area including cattle, sheep, goats, horses and camels. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, dairy market, which require pure alfalfa for TMR mixes (180 RFV) and the camel market, which uses a coarser alfalfa that the animals prefer along with pure timothy.  Timothy is also used in the horse industry and for racing camels.
The market is willing to try mixed hay, but it will be up to the co-op to introduce this and provide samples/analysis for test feeding.  The co-op is planning to put together some test shipments later in the season, when new crop and dried hay are available.
More info
If members are producing quality stands of alfalfa and timothy this year, please contact the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative.
Upcoming Events
July 12-26
Agri-ARM Field Days for 2017, various locations, Sask.

July 24 Native Prairie Speaker Series, via webinar
July 27 Forage Seed Summer Research Tour and BBQ, Melfort, Sask.
Aug. 3 Saskatchewan Pasture Tour, Foam Lake area, Sask.
Aug. 16
Saskatchewan Forage Council AGM & Diverse Cover Crop Field Day, Mervin, Sask.

Aug. 15-17 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, Calgary, Alta.
Aug. 22 Native Prairie Speaker Series, via Webinar
Nov. 14-16 8th Annual CFGA Conference, Guelph, Ont.
Dec. 5-7 Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing, Edmonton, Alta.

Details for these events above can be found here: (English only)
Oct. 3-7
World Dairy Expo, Madison, WI USA (English link only)
Dec. 5-7

If you have any events you'd like added to the calendar of events, email

  Canadian Forage & Grassland Association