SASKATCHEWAN FORAGE COUNCIL-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION
The Saskatchewan Forage Council is currently seeking an Executive Director.
The Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Forage Council is responsible for carrying out the overall vision of the organization based on input and direction from the Board of Directors. This includes setting and meeting annual goals and targets which may be financial, program, and/or management based objectives. This position is on a contract basis.
to view a detailed description of this position.
For more information, please contact Kelly Williamson, President, Saskatchewan Forage Council at
Posted February 9, 2015
SASKATCHEWAN FORAGE MARKET REPORT-FALL 2014
The September 2014 Saskatchewan Forage Market Report is the result of information gathered from a diverse group of forage industry stakeholders in Saskatchewan and surrounding jurisdictions in August and September of 2014. This report presents a broad overview of the 2014 growing season in Saskatchewan in addition to detailed forage prices and trends as of this fall.
Hay supplies declined in Saskatchewan as a cold winter resulted in more hay consumption on livestock operations than anticipated. Some regions saw higher than average yields and a high quality forage crop while other areas experienced flooding and excessive moisture that delayed hay harvest. Forage growers able to harvest their hay within the first two weeks of July generally had good quality feed and wrapped up haying in a timely manner. Pasture condition in Saskatchewan is fair to good as late-season rain allowed for regrowth. Overgrazing and deteriorated pasture condition is an issue in some flooded areas where spring hay supplies were tight and some pastures were inaccessible.
Overall, Saskatchewan forage prices remain similar to September 2013 prices. Mixed alfalfa-grass hay increased by $6/tonne on average while alfalfa prices increased by $2-3/tonne. There is limited straight alfalfa hay or grass hay on offer this year, and quality appears to be variable. Regionally, prices vary based on supply and demand, with higher prices near the Alberta border resulting from a significant increase in Alberta hay prices over the past year.
Posted December 24, 2014
GRAZING RESPONSE INDEX (GRI) FACTSHEET
The Saskatchewan Forage Council in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are currently undertaking an ADOPT (Agriculture Demonstration of Practices and Technologies), which will demonstrate the use of the grazing response index on Saskatchewan pastures.
The Grazing Response Index (GRI) is a relatively new,
easy-to-use pasture monitoring tool designed to assist pasture managers to
understand how plants and their native rangelands respond to grazing.
AAFC’s 4-page factsheet discusses the strengths of GRI and explains in
detail how to use the tool and interpret the results for optimized grazing
management. An additional 2-page insert walks the reader through a GRI
assessment and includes a blank GRI assessment worksheet.
The ADOPT project demonstration site is located at the Ducks Unlimited Torchwood Hills Conservation Ranch near Lestock,SK. More information resulting from this demonstration will be available at field days at the Ranch, posted on the SFC website and in the final report.
Posted December 17, 2014
HAY AND PASTURE REPORT - OCTOBER 2014
The October issue of the Hay and Pasture Report is the final report for the 2014 forage season. In this edition of the Report, we look back at the highlights and trends for 2014 growing season in Saskatchewan. This issue also features articles about pricing corn silage and the nutritive value of warm season versus cool season corn varieties to assist producers planning to use corn for feed during the upcoming winter or those who are considering planting corn in 2015. In addition to other articles, the Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report and Saskatchewan and nearby-market forage prices are included in this report.
As harvest operations are wrapped up, fall and winter conferences and workshops relating to the forage and livestock industry are being planned. Keep up to date on new research, technology and ideas by checking out the Upcoming Events section on the SFC website and planning to attend an event this year!
To view the Saskatchewan Hay and Pasture Report -October 2014, click here .
Posted November 15, 2014
SASKATCHEWAN PASTURE TOUR RESOURCES
Listed below are links to useful resources related to the topics being covered on the Saskatchewan Pasture Tour on August 7, 2014. Click the links to navigate to the page you are interested in viewing.
TRACE MINERALS IN SK PASTURES *FINAL REPORT COMPLETE*
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) is pleased to announce completion of a multi-year research project “Trace Minerals on Saskatchewan Pastures: Effect of Season, Location, and Forage Species”. The final report is now available on the SFC website along with four factsheets– one for each of the soil zones in Saskatchewan. Results from this project will be of great use to livestock producers, extension staff and nutritionists across Saskatchewan and in Western Canada in developing trace mineral supplementation programs for grazing beef cattle.
The project looked at the effect of season (spring vs fall) and soil zone on the trace mineral content of commonly grazed forages in Saskatchewan including both tame and native species. Results indicate that season, forage species and soil zone all affect trace mineral content of forage and should be taken into account to ensure that trace mineral deficiencies in grazing beef cattle are avoided.
Prior to this study, there was a lack of locally relevant research data on the trace mineral content of Saskatchewan forages. Leanne Thompson, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Forage Council says, “Producers can use the results of this project as a guide to understand trends in their own soil zone but to ensure a balanced diet for their livestock, feed and water testing on their own pastures is highly recommended”.
TRACE MINERALS IN SASKATCHEWAN PASTURES
The Saskatchewan Forage Council and partners have completed
a project funded by the ADF (Agriculture Development Fund) which sampled tame
and native forage species in Saskatchewan pastures for trace mineral content. Forages were sampled and forage
quality was analyzed in both the spring and fall of 2012 and 2013 from four
soil zones within the province.
only required in less than 100 parts per million (ppm), when deficient, these
minerals can have severe impacts on animal health which can have a significant
economic impact for livestock producers.
have been developed as a resource to share the results of this project and are available by soil zone. To view:
Soil Zone Factsheet click here.
Minerals Gray Soil
Zone Factsheet click here .
Brown Soil Zone Factsheet click here.
Soil Zone Factsheet click here.
Print copies of all Trace Minerals Factsheets are available by contacting the SFC at 306.969.2666 or e-mail
for the final project report coming soon on the website!
Funding for this project was provided by the
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing
Forward bi-lateral agreement.
Project Partners: Western Beef Development Centre,
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Posted July 15, 2014
FORAGE INDUSTRY INNOVATION AWARD PRESENTED TO DR. BRUCE COULMAN
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) is pleased to announce
presentation of the 2014 Forage Industry Innovation Award to Dr Bruce
Coulman at the Council’s Annual Meeting held June 26, 2014 near
Lashburn, SK. This award recognizes exemplary innovation, leadership,
service and stewardship in Saskatchewan’s forage industry.
The Saskatchewan Forage Council extends their sincere
congratulations to Dr Bruce Coulman on receiving the 2014 Forage
Industry Innovation Award. In honour of Bruce, the SFC will make a
contribution in his name to the Alicia Hargrave Memorial Bursary,
College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of
To view the full article click here.
Posted June 15, 2014
SASKATCHEWAN FORAGE COUNCIL NEW DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE
new director and several returning individuals were recently named to
the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) Board of Directors at the Annual
Meeting held on June 26, 2014 near Lashburn, SK. The SFC welcomes Greg
Penner from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and
Bioresources (department of Animal and Poultry Science) to the Board.
Re-elected to the Board for a renewed term were Ryan Sommerfeld,
producer from Medstead, SK, Dave Kerr, producer from Lashburn, SK, Steve
Pylot, producer from Meadow Lake, SK, Kelly Williamson, producer from
Pambrun, SK and Bruce Coulman from the University of Saskatchewan’s
College of Agriculture and Bioresources (department of Plant Science).The SFC recognized retiring Board member Diane Knight from the University of Saskatchewan. Knight stepped off the board as she is taking a sabbatical in the coming year. The SFC wisher her well in her future endeavours and thanks her for her contributions over the past year.
To view the full press release click here.
Posted June 15, 2014
SASKATCHEWAN FORAGE MARKET REPORT - JANUARY 2014
The Saskatchewan Forage Market Report
from January 2014 is now
available! This report provides an overview of the 2013 forage season in Saskatchewan including production, environmental, and
market conditions. It gives buyers and sellers price averages for
forages bought and sold in Saskatchewan and beyond during the 2013 growing season and into the fall and winter.
Forage prices have been mixed in late 2013 and early 2014, with
variations in pricing based on quality and demand. High quality hay such
as pure, second-cut alfalfa is in demand but there is little on offer,
which has resulted in price increases since the January 2013 report.
Although asking prices for mixed hay and grass hay have increased in the
past year, buying and settled prices have declined, likely due in part
to variable quality. Late forage harvest and rainfall during haying
season have led to quality concerns in some areas. In fact, a survey
conducted by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture indicates that
energy levels in the 2013 hay crop are lower than anticipated.
To view the Saskatchewan Forage Market Report - January 2014, click here.
(Photo Credit: Laura-Lie Schellenberg, Beechy, SK)
Posted May 19, 2014
CICER MILKVETCH ESTABLISHMENT OPTIONS
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and partners have recently completed the ADOPT (Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies) project, "Cicer Milkvetch Establishment Options."
Many livestock producers are interested in improving hay or pasture stands with the addition of a legume. The use of non-bloating legumes such as cicer milkvetch are desirable for many livestock and forage producers due to pasture management options, productive capability and nutritional quality. Producers are interested in the most effective methods of establishing this sometimes difficult to establish legume. The objective of this project was to demonstrate various establishment strategies for cicer milkvetch as part of a new forage stand and evaluate the relative effectiveness of these strategies.
To read the complete Project Summary, click here.
To view the Cicer Milkvetch Establishment Options ADOPT project Final Report, click here.
To watch the Forage Variety Comparisons: Cicer Milkvetch video that highlighs this project, click here.
Posted January 27, 2014
PERENNIAL FORAGE DEMONSTRATION
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and partners have recently
completed the ADOPT (Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and
Technologies) project, "Demonstration of Perennial Forage Crops." This project showcased over 40 perennial forage species, including both grass and legumes at four research farms in Saskatchewan in side-by-side demonstration plots in 2012 and 2013.
The volume of information and the wide variety of forages available can make forage selection an overwhelming process. These demonstration sites provided an opportunity for producers to view the relative success of both legume and grass species in their own regions to assist in selection of forages for their own operations.
A video was developed to provide more information on the bromegrass varieties in this demonstration and it can be accessed on YouTube (SFC Bromegrass Video).
To read the complete Project Summary, click here.
To view the Demonstration of Perennial Forage Crops ADOPT project Final Report, click here.
Posted December 14, 2013
INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
-EXTENSIVE THREE YEAR PROJECT COMPLETED-
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and industry partners have completed the CAAP (Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program) project, "Invasive Plant Species Management Strategies: Capacity Building for Saskatchewan's Forage & Livestock Industry."
Invasive plant species are present in Saskatchewan and are often found
established within forage acres. These invasive plant species pose a
very real and significant threat. This extensive three year project provided the resources to
path find and pilot solution for the forage and livestock industry to
deal with this ever-growing threat of invasive plant species. A
proactive approach was taken to develop the capacity and tools to
respond to the issue and pilot practical measures across the wider
industry. Project objectives included increasing Saskatchewan producers’
awareness of invasive plant species and also assessed existing
weed-free forage certification programs and the potential for these to
be adapted for Saskatchewan use.
The project was very successful in meeting its original objectives.
Awareness of the threat of invasive plant species was increased and an
in depth assessment of existing weed-free forage certification programs and
opportunities for a provincial program were fully evaluated. Clearly,
there is much work left to be done but this project fulfilled its role
to initiate the conversation, bring industry partners together on this
critical issue, and identify next steps.
To view the Project Final Report, click here. To view the Strategic Assessment Report, click here. To view the Facilitated Focus Group Report, click here. To view the Project Summary, click here.
The education and awareness component of this project involved the creation of a series of five Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) factsheets focusing on the prevention and control of invasive plant species
within various sectors of the forage industry including FORAGE SEED, GRAZING, RIPARIAN, HAY, and TRANSPORTATION. It also involved the creation of the SASKATCHEWAN INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES IDENTIFICATION GUIDE. The ID Guide
focuses on the many invasive plant species that are pertinent to SK and
provides plant characteristics and information about each species.
To view or download online versions of the Factsheets, click here.
To view or download an online version of the ID Guide, click here.
Print copies of all the Factsheets and the ID Guides are available by contacting the SFC at 306.969.2666 or
Funding for this project has been
provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian
Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Saskatchewan, this program is
delivered by the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan. A project
steering committee participated in the project’s activities, design and
delivery and included representatives from the following
organizations/agencies: Saskatchewan Forage Council, Frenchman-Wood
River Weed Management Area, Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development
Commission, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Saskatchewan
Association of Rural Municipalities, and Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada. Additional support (financial and in-kind) for this project was
provided by Crossing the Medicine Line Network, SaskEnergy, SaskPower,
SaskTel, True North Specialty Products, ConocoPhillips, Dow AgroSciences
and Canada North Environmental Services.
PRAIRIE SEEDS NEWSLETTER - FALL 2013
The Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission (SFSDC) has released their Fall 2013 Prairie Seeds Newsletter. It provides relevant updates and information surrounding forage seed industry research, production, and events.
To view the Newsletter, click here.
Posted November 3, 2013
OPTIONS FOR ESTABLISHING FORAGES ON SALINE SOILS
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and partners have recently completed the ADOPT (Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies) project, "Options for Establishing Forages on Saline Soils."
Saline areas are a significant concern for Saskatchewan producers. The objective of this project was to pathfind different options for establishing forages on these saline areas, including new and existing forage varieties with the potential to germinate and compete with saline-tolerant weeds.
A presentation has been put together by the SFC to show the results of the project and the lessons learned. To view the presentation, click here.
To read the complete Project Summary, click here.
To view the Forages on Saline Soils ADOPT project Final Report, click here.
Posted October 14, 2013
SFC CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF SERVING THE FORAGE INDUSTRY
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) was officially formed May 2, 1988 by a visionary group of forage industry stakeholders. The original board of directors included: Robert McGillivray, S.E. Beacom, Les Bohrson, Rodney Duczek, Don Gayton, Clare Phillips, Ken Stoner, Greg Sommerfeld and Bill Weighill. This group represented people from the forage seed, research, export, processing and livestock sectors - indicating that since its inception in 1988, the SFC has recognized and embraced the diversity of the forage industry.
The SFC was formed as a means to provide the forage industry with a voice. The formation of a provincial council would be a way to pull those working on forage issues together. Also, forages were not adequately represented by other crop commodity groups, thus there was a gap to be filled.
It is important to acknowledge the hard work and vision of all the former board members and employees that have helped make this council a success. Here’s to another 25 years serving the forage industry!
To read the complete article, click here.
Posted July 8, 2013
SK FORAGE COUNCIL WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Leanne Thompson as their new Executive Director.
Leanne Thompson comes to the SFC with a wealth of experience working with Provincial producer associations and several agricultural organizations. Thompson has also worked with the SFC on a variety of projects over the past 4 years so was in an excellent position to take on this role.
To read the complete SFC News Release, click here.
Leanne will be operating the SFC from her home office located near Ceylon, SK. Please note that contact information for the SFC including mailing address, phone and fax numbers are changed effective immediately.
Leanne Thompson and the office of the Saskatchewan Forage Council may now be reached at:
PO Box 87
Ceylon, SK S0C 0T0
Phone (306) 969-2666
Fax (306) 969-2226
Posted October 15, 2012
LIVESTOCK & FORAGE GAZETTE - NOW ELECTRONIC
The Livestock and Forage Gazette has enjoyed a dedicated readership in Saskatchewan and beyond during the last decade. To see a previous newsletter please click here. It is now moving to electronic distribution, so if you would like to receive the January 2012 enewsletter please join the mailing list. The Gazette will continue to provide you with the same informative content that livestock producers have come to know and expect!
To sign up for the electronic Livestock and Forage Gazette, click on the Forage Gazette Sign Up tab in the side menu on the left (in the Main Menu under Contact Us)
Posted December 20, 2011
SASKATCHEWAN'S FORAGE INDUSTRY REPORT RELEASED
The Saskatchewan Forage Council is pleased to announce the release of the much-anticipated report entitled “The Value of Saskatchewan’s Forage Industry – A Multi-Level Analysis”. The first of its kind in the province, the report characterizes this diverse industry and looks at the value of forages to Saskatchewan’s economy, environment and society as a whole. Read more...
Download the complete report: Print Version(4.4MB) or Screen Version(2.2MB)
For more information or to request a print copy of the report, contact the Saskatchewan Forage Council at 306.969.2666 or
Posted April 15, 2010
The Saskatchewan Forage Council Gratefully Acknowledges funding for our 'Facilitating Forage Initiatives in Saskatchewan' project through the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association
Cattle Marketing Deductions Fund: