July 2022 Forage Report

Ontario Hay Listings is a free classifieds service provided by the Ontario Forage Council. Producers looking to buy or sell hay or straw are encouraged to post an ad. The optimal time to summer seed alfalfa mixes depends on the length of the growing season: More than 3100 CHU: August 10-20 2700 – 3100 CHU: August […]

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June 2022 Forage Report

South and West According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Bruce, Grey, Dufferin, Simcoe, Niagara, Elgin, and parts of Lambton and Middlesex received average or above average precipitation for June. The rest of the region had below-average rainfall. Above-average levels of winterkill reduced yields in affected fields. Although some dairy producers cut on their preferred calendar […]

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May 2022 Forage Report

Weather A derecho hit Ontario and Quebec along the Windsor-Québec City corridor on May 21st. High winds caused widespread power outages in central and eastern Ontario. Damage included downed/uprooted trees, snapped hydro poles, and several collapsed barns. Resources are available to help producers cope with stress and find mental health support. South and West According to […]

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On-off grazing

cow grazing

On-off grazing is a management technique to minimize damage while grazing wet pastures. It is an alternative to using a sacrifice paddock. Livestock do the least amount of pugging damage to a field when they are actively grazing. It is other activities, such as visiting the water trough or mineral source, lying down, or socializing […]

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Forages/Pastures and Excess Water

standing water drowned plants in a low spot in this pasture

Key Points: Forage and pasture plants are more tolerant of saturated soil conditions in early spring when they are growing slowly. Excess water increases the risk of root and crown diseases. Dig up plants to check for disease after the water has subsided. Flood water may leave behind silt that can smother a crop, raise […]

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Using a Rising Plate Meter as a Tool to Improve Pasture Management: Summer Project 2021

student demonstrating use of rising plate meter

The author of this article is Mary O’Connor, an OMAFRA summer student who, under the supervision of James Byrne (OMAFRA Beef Cattle Specialist), assisted with this project. The article was first published in the October 2021 edition of Virtual Beef. Introduction In Canada, grazing land, consisting of natural and planted pastures, accounts for approximately 50 million […]

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Calibration of a Rising Plate Meter: Measuring the Amount of Available Feed in your Pasture

This post was written by Jessica Brasier, OMAFRA summer student. Jessica works under the supervision of Christine O’Reilly (Forage and Grazing Specialist) and James Byrne (Beef Cattle Specialist). Grazing pasture is a great way to save on feed costs and utilize marginal land. To maximize the profitability of a pasture, a producer can use different […]

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Know the Amount of Feed in Your Pasture

demonstrating the use of a falling plate meter

by Maja Menegotto, Undergraduate Student Experiential Learning (USEL) program student What is a Falling Plate Meter? A falling plate meter is a tool that can be used to estimate dry matter yield within grazing pastures (Rayburn and Lozier, 2003b). To do this, an acrylic plate is lowered against a metre stick in the center of […]

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Timing Spring Turn-out

Forage plants regrow by drawing on energy reserves in their roots

Spring is in the air, and livestock and farmers alike are eager to start the grazing season. Timing that delightful move is critical, as spring grazing management sets up both yield potential of the pasture and the amount of gain achievable for young stock.   How early is too early? Livestock should go out on […]

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