News from the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association
CFGA Quarterly Newsletter
Summer 2018
Greetings from CFGA Chairperson, Ray Robertson
The growing season is in full swing but that hasn't stopped your provincial representatives from getting together. Provincial regional managers met in Ontario in early July to discuss the AGGP program and how the provinces can work together to benefit the forage sector across the country. It was a productive session with a lot of great discussion including valuable information we can pull together to share with our members. We will be sharing this through our regular communication channels including this quarterly newsletter and our Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you haven't already subscribed  to the newsletter or joined us on social media, I invite you to do so now.
These communication channels are also a good way to keep up to date on the CFGA Annual Meeting and Conference in Calgary, Alta., Nov. 13 to 16. A significant part of the conference, as well as the pre-conference tour, will focus on hay quality and exporting opportunities. Check out the details in this issue of the newsletter and stay tuned for complete details as the conference planning progresses on the conference website

Don't miss CFGA's 9th Annual Conference
Foundation Forage: Built from the Ground Up is the theme for the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association's 9th Annual Conference which takes place in Calgary, Alta., this November. It's the must-attend event for anyone involved in forage production.
The program includes a line-up of top speakers who will talk, teach and share their expertise during presentations on Nov. 14 and 15 - the core of conference. Speakers will set the stage for producers to plan, seed, feed, graze, harvest and evaluate their valuable forage and grassland. Carbon capturing and data management, current protocols and how to meet future developments are also on the agenda.
Speaker profile
One of those speakers is cover crop expert Steve Groff. Well known as the Cover Crop Coach, Groff and his family farm 305 acres of 14 different cash grain crops and a wide array of cover crop mixes in Lancaster County, Pa. For the past 22 years, his Cedar Meadow Farm has conducted thousands of cover crop research trials .
Groff will share his insights into cover crops at the conference when he presents Keep Your Soils Covered. His presentation will reveal how producers need to think about solutions that will work on their operation, some species and tricks of the trade for success and the latest information on how the marketplace may be the most motivating factor in the upcoming year to incentivize farmers to step up their game when it comes to soil health.
CFGA-New Holland Leadership Award
Also during the conference, CFGA will present its annual Leadership Award, honouring the sector's influencers. Nominations are now open and forms are available here.
Pre-conference activities
Earlier in the week, on Monday, Nov. 12, general managers from the forage organizations across the country will gather to help set the path for the national association, looking for ways to work together and strengthen the industry.
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, conference attendees have the opportunity to hit the road for hands-on learning with the CFGA Pre-Conference Tour to visit nearby leaders in the forage and grassland sector of Alberta and hear how they are finding success.
The export forage industry is an area of growth in Canada, and the sector will gather for meetings on Friday, Nov. 16.
More info
Watch the CFGA conference website for updates to the program and speakers - and see you in Calgary, Nov. 14 and 15, 2018!
A message from New Holland
Keep your cool

Summer's hot days can become downright comfortable with a well-maintained cab air conditioning system. Be sure to clean the condenser. It's often integrated with the radiator and the oil cooler. All should be free of any debris that can build up. Use compressed air or a power washer to remove dust between condenser fins that can reduce cooling efficiency. Keep the cab airflow high. Especially in high humidity, holding the cab's fan speed higher will reduce the likelihood of the evaporator core freezing.

Conference spotlight
Cover crops: good for the soil and livestock grazing
by Trudy Kelly Forsythe
Cover crops boost the organic matter in soil, increase carbon sequestration and provide livestock with nutritional grazing. But how can producers manage their cover crops to maximize these positive effects?

" Having living roots in the soil all year, diverse species and ground cover are nature's way of taking care of the health of the soil," says cover crop expert Steve Groff. "We need to mimic that as much as possible so we can leverage what it has to offer. The biological life in the soil is free. If you build it, they will come!"
Groff says forage and grassland producers are the ones who have the best systems already in place to increase soil health and productivity using cover crops, but that they need to ask themselves some serious questions, including: Is their soil testing better now than it was 20 years ago?
 Will their current farming practices enhance the soil in the next 20 years?
"The soil is a farmer's most valuable asset so it behooves the owner to do better than just maintain it; they need to regenerate it," he says.

Conference cover crop presentation
Well known as the Cover Crop Coach, Groff is the f ounder of Cover Crop Coaching, a business that offers coaching services to trainers on how to talk to farmers about effective cover crop use. He and his family farm 305 acres of 14 different cash grain crops and a wide array of cover crop mixes in Lancaster County, Pa. For the past 22 years, his Cedar Meadow Farm has conducted thousands of cover crop research trials .
Groff will share his insights into cover crops at the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association's 9th annual conference in Calgary, Alta, Nov. 14 to 15 when he presents Keep Your Soils Covered. His presentation will cover how producers need to think about solutions that will work on their operation, some species and tricks of the trade for success and the latest information on how the marketplace may be the most motivating factor in the upcoming year to incentivize farmers to step up their game when it comes to soil health.
"I don't come with an exact prescription because there would be as many as there are people in the room, but there are common themes that apply to all that each farmer can then build upon," says Groff. "I want farmers and ranchers to come away with some plausible ideas they can apply to their farms."
More info
Learn more about Steve Groff at and For more information about the CFGA 2018 Conference, visit the CFGA conference website
Provincial organization update
Alberta Forage Industry Network
The Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN) has a new and improved website, and they want you to check it out! Head to to learn more about what the organization does and about the very dedicated people who make it all happen. The new website aims to be more inclusive of all forage stakeholders, and AFIN is currently working on a page that will showcase all of the different aspects within the industry.
AFIN is also excited to announce that it is on Facebook and they want you to join them there too! AFIN is using this social media platform along with Twitter to have forage discussions, share events and show support for this very diverse and amazing industry. Make sure to let AFIN know if you have any news or events that you want shared on the website and/or social media. Email AFIN .
AFIN hopes to hear more from you in the near future, and thanks you for the support.
NACSAA update
CFGA now part of North American Climate Smart Agriculture Initiative
The CFGA has joined a diverse group of organizations and business in a climate smart agriculture initiative that will give North American farmers, ranchers and foresters the opportunity to collaborate with others to improve production resiliency and mitigate current and future risks of changing climatic conditions.
The CFGA, World Wildlife Federation, Toro Company and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy are among the latest leading farm and forestry organizations; industry, academic and government leaders; conservation groups, science organizations and others who have signed on to the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA), an advocacy coalition sponsored by Solutions from the Land (SfL).
Launched during last fall's United Nations Climate Summit in New York, where leaders from world governments, finance, business and civil society were drawn to galvanize and catalyze climate action, NACSAA is a platform for knowledge sharing and the application of climate science to production agriculture. It is working to bring agriculture and forestry leaders together with industry, academia, government and NGO partners in sharing and discussing new adaptation practices, tools and production systems designed to improve resiliency and mitigate the current and future risks of changing climatic conditions.
The alliance, which will collaborate and interface with the Global Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, provides North American agricultural and forestry leaders with several platforms for shaping an integrated approach for simultaneously pursuing the three pillars of climate-smart agriculture: 1) sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and livelihoods (i.e. sustainable intensification); 2) adapting and building more resilience; and 3) reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions.
Alliance organizers cite the findings last year of the National Climate Assessment, a report from more than 300 experts from multiple federal agencies that summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States now and in the future, which shows climate disruptions to U.S. agricultural production have increased in the past 40 years and are projected to increase over the next 25 years. Starting at mid-century, the impacts will become increasingly negative on most crops and livestock, according to the assessment.
Fred Yoder, an Ohio farmer who serves on the Solutions from the Land board of directors and is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association, is chairing the initiative. Yoder has worked extensively on the group's adaptation project, which has drawn together a wide range of agricultural leaders and recommended ways for producers, policymakers and other stakeholders to adapt to a changing climate.
Among other groups that signed on to play a leadership role in the initiative are the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Soybean Association (ASA), Family Farm Alliance, National Farmers Union, Western Growers Association, Environmental Defense Fund, American Farmland Trust, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Field to Market and Soil and Water Conservation Society.
NASCAA's leaders have adopted the following objectives for the Alliance:
  • Educate agricultural and forestry leaders on the potential impacts of climate change in ways relevant to their daily lives;
  • Equip producers with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed decisions and manage new risks under changing conditions;
  • Mobilize thought leaders to advocate for needed changes in land use practices, research, education and policy; and
  • Inspire agricultural and forest sector leaders to become leaders in the broader discussion of climate change, including adaptation and mitigation.
The Alliance is also collaborating closely with government-sponsored initiatives, such as the Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agriculture Project (CSCAP), a USDA-funded effort to investigate the complex carbon, nitrogen and water cycles in managing corn-based cropping systems to increase efficiency and productivity while decreasing agriculture's environmental footprint under extreme and variable long-term weather conditions.
Export news
CFGA welcomes AAFC funding to support export of Canadian forages
The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) is pleased with the federal funding announcement of $98,950 for the association for a project funded through the AgriMarketing program under the Growing Forward 2 agreement. Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the investment yesterday in Fredericton alongside representatives of the forage sector.
The investment will help the forage sector increase export capacity and strengthen awareness of Canadian forage products to new and emerging markets. In addition to participating in international trade expos in the United States, the CFGA developed export readiness training for their members and developed strategies for emerging markets.
A further investment of $16,000 was provided to CFGA to hire a student intern under the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative to help farmers integrate environmentally beneficial management practices into their crop planning.
"Our Government has a strong agenda for growth in agriculture and agri-food and is committed to supporting our farmers, young and old, with strategic investments and opportunities that expand growth, deliver prosperity and create well-paying middle class jobs," said MacAulay, who is conducting a 'Growing Canadian Agriculture' tour where he is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participating in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the agriculture sector.
"Canada's forage sector is the largest land-use type in Canadian agriculture and is exceptionally diverse, covering over 72-million acres coast to coast," said CFGA's executive director, Cedric MacLeod. "The forage sector generates an annual value of $5.09-billion as the backbone of the ruminant livestock sector, and serves an increasingly important role in feeding livestock around the world.
"Forage exporters from across the country are ramping up production to service growing markets in China, the Middle East, United States and Central America," he added. "AgriMarketing program funding provides an important cost-share for our industry partners to leverage their market growth activities around the world."
The CFGA provides a national voice for all Canadians who produce hay and forage products and for those whose production is dependent upon forage and grassland production. Their main role is to uphold the robust forage industry and realize the potential of the domestic and export forage market.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal-provincial and territorial governments (FPT), which will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity. The Partnership replaced Growing Forward 2 (2013-2018) in April 2018.
The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative was announced as a one year program in April of 2016 and then extended for 2 years for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for a total investment of $5.2 million. The initiative follows through on a Government of Canada commitment to help create good, well-paying jobs and to support young Canadians as they transition into the workforce.
Upcoming events
Aug. 8: Saskatchewan Pasture Tour; Mackin, Sask.
Aug. 14:  Beef Cattle Research Council Check-Off Town Hall; London, Ont.
Aug. 16: Beef Cattle Research Council Open House; London, Ont.

Aug. 25: 2018 BCFC  Field Day; Quesnel B.C.
Sept. 6: CQPF Forage Field Day Parisville, Que. Click here to register 

Sept. 11-13: Canada's Outdoor Farm Show Woodstock, Ont.

Nov. 13-21:  Eurotier 2018 Ag Tour; Hanover Germany
Nov 27, 28: MFGA's Regenerative Agriculture Conference Brandon, Man.

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