CFGA Quarterly Newsletter
A message from CFGA chairman Chris Martin
I hope everyone is having a safe and productive summer. It has certainly been a busy one for the CFGA.
One of our greatest tasks right now is organizing the 10th Annual CFGA Conference in Moncton NB Nov. 12 to 15. You can read some of the details in this newsletter as well as on the CFGA Conference website.
I encourage you to check it out and to register to attend this important event. I can't reiterate it enough how this is a
not-to-be-missed event for everyone involved in the forage and grassland industry. I hope you'll join me and the rest of the board for the fabulous networking opportunities and the opportunity to see what's happening in the sector in Atlantic Canada.
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP) continues to be a major focus as well.
As discussed at the 2018 conference, we have moved to an avoided conversion of grasslands protocol which we hope to launch in October. There are a series of pilot projects being led by the provincial forage associations to put the protocol on the ground and to demonstrate forage management practices that push the carbon sequestration envelope. You can read about what's happening in Manitoba in this issue of the newsletter and we will bring you news from other provinces in future newsletters.
We also continue to work hard at increasing our communications with our provincial organizations with the goal of keeping all our members informed and the lines of communication open. We certainly appreciate hearing from all our membership. Be sure to like our Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Facebook page
and follow us in Twitter.
Our Twitter feed is also on the CFGA website.
10th annual CFGA Conference, Nov. 12-15
Registration is open for the
10th Annual CFGA Conference: Canadian Forage Production School, Eastern Edition
. Learn from world-changing thinkers and innovators in forage and grassland development.
This year's conference takes place at the Four Points by Sheraton Moncton hotel in Moncton, New Brunswick, from Nov. 12 to 15.
On the first day of the conference, attendees have an option to participate in the technical working group workshops or the optional
on Tuesday, Nov. 12. First stop is in Nappan, Nova Scotia, at the Nappan Research Station, which is home to a successful forage breeding program and ongoing research into pasture mixtures, late season pastures and biomass crops. Then it's back to N.B. to visit a rotary dairy parlour and Perry Hill Farm, which raises all its replacement cattle and grows all of the forage required by the total herd, plus other livestock including sheep, meat kings, rabbits, two horses and two ponies.
Days 2 & 3
During the two days of presentations
at the Canadian Forage School, Eastern Edition, attendees will have the chance to hear North America's leading experts in forage and grassland production. They will discuss high performance forage management techniques, provide soil fertility insights, share planting tips, offer weed control advice and talk about methods for harvesting the highest quality forages.
The sessions kickoff with presentations on soil health as a foundation, followed by alfalfa school and corn school on the first day. On day two, sessions fall under harvest management and export forage.
Come hear tips, tricks, advice and insights from North America's top forage experts like:
- Dr. Dan Undersander, forage specialist, University of Wisconsin
- Bill Thomas, certified crop adviser, agronomist, grazing management specialist, BT Agronomy
- Sonny Murray, field crop specialist, Perennia
- Peter Ballerstedt, Barenbrug USA
Busy summer ahead for grassland carbon research in Manitoba
National project will show how forage and grassland owners can use high-performance management to boost yields and store carbon
The CFGA continues to lead its
High Performance Management Systems to Reduce Greenhouse Gases in Canada's Forages and Grasslands
project after a successful application to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program. The CFGA
is excited to see p
ilot projects led by its provincial forage associations taking place across the country to demonstrate forage management practices that push the carbon sequestration envelope.
In Manitoba, r
esearchers are digging down on six Manitoba fields this summer as part of the national project looking at the role forages and grasslands play in reducing greenhouse gases in Canada. Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) is fully supportive of the CFGA project and helped identify five producer fields, as well as a sixth at Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives (MBFI) research and demonstration Brookdale farm near Brandon, MB, as project sites.
"We want to showcase the results from the way these families are farming and the management systems they are utilizing," says Duncan Morrison, MFGA executive director. "It's time to add the carbon equation to the decision mix and bolster the biodiversity, water management and soil health platforms of grassland retention, forage and livestock production and producer profitability."
Dr. Terence McGonigle of Brandon University is leading the research team in sampling the nominated fields.
Read more about the Manitoba pilot project on the MFGA website.
CFGA Gold Partner
News from Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Farmers of Canada receives an international recognition for sustainability farm practices
Dairy Farmers of Canada has received an international recognition from Unilever for its commitments towards sustainable milk production practices. The recognition means Unilever concluded that 100 per cent of milk produced in Canada is sustainably sourced in accordance with their Sustainable Agriculture Code.
Unilever is one of the world's leading consumer goods companies and produces and sells around 400 brands in more than 190 countries to billions of consumers. In 2010, Unilever launched the Sustainable Agriculture Code, which has become a major tool in sustainable sourcing programs. The Code, revised in 2017, is a collection of good practices that aim to codify important aspects of sustainability in farming and to apply them to the supply chain.
DFC has achieved equivalency to Unilever's Sustainable Agriculture Code after comparing their code's standard to the way milk is produced in Canada, by considering provincial environmental regulations and labour laws and the national supply management system, as well as the commitments made and being carried out through proAction®, DFC's robust quality assurance program.
"Unilever's recognition is an acknowledgment of Canadian dairy farmers' commitment to responsible stewardship of our animals and the environment, and to high-quality, safe and nutritious food for consumers," says Pierre Lampron, DFC president. "Collectively, we wouldn't have been able to obtain this international recognition without the hard work of farmers to implement a robust, credible and ambitious program like proAction."
Giulia Stellari, sustainable sourcing director at Unilever, the recognition
helps to ensure that the ice creams it produces in Canada are all being made with sustainable dairy. "We are delighted that our work with Dairy Farmers of Canada to strengthen action on biodiversity and good environmental practices across the sector means that the dairy produced across more than 10,000 farms meets the standards set in our Sustainable Agriculture Code.
For more information on Unilever
's approach to sustainable sourcing,
please click here. For more information on the sustainable production practices being adopted by Canadian dairy farmers through proAction, please click here.
Provincial organization news
Updates from Quebec and Manitoba
The CQPF is having a busy year. It continues to improve its new website as well as to publish its Echo Fourrager newsletter on a quarterly basis. The current issue, and past issues, can be found on the CQPF website.
On May 14, the CQPF met the executive of the producer union,
Union of Agricultural Producers,
to discuss the producers' needs, forage crop insurance, the Centre of Expertise and the need to get one person from their organization to assist CQPF in its different activities.
On May 23, the CQPF held its second meeting with AGECO consultant firm (coming from a provincial funding) regarding the Centre of Expertise in Forage business plan, which should be done by October 2019. Their next meeting with them is schedule Aug. 22.
On May 29 and 30, the CQPF had the CRAAQ annual field days. This outdoor activity makes it possible to visit several fields and companies active in the production and marketing in the forage sector. This is an opportunity to meet with farmers who welcome CPQF onto their farms and to interact with the various stakeholders in the forage sector. Between 65 and 70 people attended.
On June 4h, the CQPF had a board meeting in Quebec City where they discussed the CQPF annual field day that will be held at McGill University on Sept. 11. This journey is directly related to the AGGP project.
On July 3, Laval University (near Quebec City) held a field day explaining different masters and PhD forage projects. They talked about roots system related to carbon sequestration, species related to climatic changes, high digestibility alfalfas, etc.
Also in July, the CQPF presented a memorandum to a pesticides commission mentioning that forages are using way less pesticides than cash crops, so there is less contamination into the lakes and rivers. This is one reason why farmers should use forage in their rotation. Forage producers aren't the problem, but are the solution to decrease the use of herbicides.
As mentioned earlier, CQPF will hold a field day Sept. 11 at McGill University in relation with the AGGP project. This initiative will establish a BMPS demonstrating site for grazing use in the dairy sector. CQPF hopes to have more than 250 people attend that day including producers, crop advisers and nearly 15 booths from different companies.
MFGA locks down official position on Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative Agriculture is a fast-evolving, producer-led force in Manitoba and the MFGA is keeping pace with it.
"MFGA's interests in Regenerative Agriculture lie squarely in producing high quality food while improving the natural ecosystem," says Ryan Boyd, MFGA's finance chair and a well-regarded Regenerative Agriculture leader in Manitoba. "We believe that Regenerative Agriculture farms strive to be part of a larger ecosystem, shifting the paradigm from prioritizing high yields above all else to establishing cycles of regeneration that improve long-term land use via profit and ecosystem health."
Read the full media release here.
Regen Ag Days
MFGA is making Regenerative Agriculture part of its annual fall celebration and AGM on Nov. 19 and 20.
MFGA AGM and Regenerative Agriculture 2019 registration and information can be found on the MFGA website.
10th annual CFGA conference, Nov. 12-15
CFGA pre-conference tour highlights
Each year at its annual conference, CFGA offers a pre-conference tour to give attendees the opportunity to see what is happening with forage and grassland in the host region. This is an optional tour, but you're not going to want to miss this year's tour, which departs from the conference hotel at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Nappan Research Station
We'll travel approximately an hour to Nappan, N.S. and home to the Nappan Research Station. The operation is an integral part of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada's national research centre network. Located next door to the Maritime Beef Station, it supports a 100 cow beef herd on 600 acres of land; has an animal nutritionist, forage breeder, forage agronomist, technical staff and experienced farm crew; and access to lab facilities in Nappan, Truro and Kentville.
Most land is native pasture with some on dyke-land, and handling facilities are available for all pastures, with holding areas, crowd gates and working chutes. The centre is home to a successful forage breeding program and ongoing research into pasture mixtures, late season pastures and biomass crops.
After our visit to Nappan, we hop on the bus and
head back to New Brunswick. We'll visit a rotary dairy parlour in Petitcodiac, then move on to
Perry Hill Farm.
Owned by Dwayne and Becky Perry and family, this is a modern dairy farm which has been in the family since 1870. New freestall barn facilities house a milking herd of 100+ cows. The farm raises all its replacement cattle and grows all forage required by the total herd, plus other livestock including sheep, meat kings, rabbits, two horses and two ponies.
Deadline for nominations is Sept. 30
Call for 2019 CFGA Leadership Award
The CFGA is very pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the CFGA Leadership Award. This award recognizes individuals, groups or organizations that exemplify or enhance the goals of the CFGA and whose leadership in the forage and grassland sector has impact of national and/or international significance.
Nominations of candidates for the 2019 CFGA Leadership Award are being accepted until Sept, 30. The selected recipient will be notified by Oct. 14, 2019.
The recipient will be invited a make a keynote presentation at the CFGA's 2020 Annual Conference. The presentation may include an overview of past achievements, current endeavours and perspective on future challenges related to forage and grasslands. Alternately, the award recipient can propose to undertake an original project that features and promotes forage and grassland (such as a video, an extension activity or some other communication approach).
The recipient will be presented with a memento and citation recognizing their achievements, and a cash award to a maximum of $6,000 to cover allowable expenses, including travel to make presentations at the 2020 CFGA Annual Conference and other meetings relevant to forage and grasslands.
Click here to access all details about the CFGA Leadership Award.
Ontario programs recognize top achievers
Nominations are open for a number of competitions in Ontario for forage and grassland producers. We hope you'll participate.
Mapleseed Pasture Award
Deadline: Sept. 14 and Nov. 29
The Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Sheep Farmers, Mapleseed and the Ontario Forage Council invite you to nominate a deserving producer for the Mapleseed Pasture Award. This is an excellent opportunity to recognize individual producers who are doing an outstanding job of pasture management. The Mapleseed Pasture Awards are also a way of encouraging producers to implement pasture management strategies that maximize production per acre.
For each category, Mapleseed contributes a cash award of $500 to the winner, $250 to cover their accommodation to attend the BFO/OSMA AGM. The winner of each category will also be invited to share a presentation about their operation at their respective commodity AGM. In addition to these prizes and recognition, each winner will receive a 25kg bag of their choice of a Mapleseed forage mix.
The deadline to submit applications for the sheep pasture award is Sept. 14, 2019.
The deadline to submit applications for the beef pasture award is Nov. 29, 2019.
Soil Champion Award
Deadline: Nov. 1
The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association annually recognizes
excellence in sustainable soil management and those who advocate for the cause with its Soil Champion Award. Sustainable soil management practices may be defined as those that:
- Make the most efficient use of nutrients
- Support systems with no net loss of organic matter and soil aggregate stability
- Build the population and diversity of soil organisms
- Effectively manages surface water to support reduced tillage systems
To be nominated, individuals must be a resident of Ontario and/or have contributed to soil management in a way that improves soil health, and supports sustainable crop production.
You can nominate yourself or a soil advocate you know
. If you are nominating someone else, please ensure he/she is informed of your intention and is a willing participant.
Milk Maker Forage Competition
Deadline: Jan. 17, 2020
Enter a sample of your forage for a chance to win one of six $500 first place prizes. Prizes of $300 and $200 will be awarded to second and third place winners.
Do you present awards of interest to forage and grassland producers
Dec. 5: Ontario Forage Council Forage Focus, Stratford, Ont.
More event listings: