FIRST & FORage MOST                            February 2012

Volume 2  


Promoting Canada's forage & grassland

Canadian Forage & Grassland Association    

Association Canadienne pour les Plantes Fourragères

In This Issue
AGM & Conference Highlights
RR Alfalfa Forum Requires Input
Mission to China - March 2012
Executive Director Report
CFGA Seeks Fundraiser
Addressing Transportation Issues
Consultez les chroniques du...Conseil québécois des plantes fourragères (CQPF)...sur le site Web de ...
Overseas Export Study done for Saskatchewan and Manitoba
Forage Export & Domestic Market Committee
Forage Researcher - Bruce Coulman
New 2 Row Forage Barley Variety
Director Profile - David Wiens
Nutritional Feed Additives
Society for Range Management
Featured Article
 Overseas Export Study done for Manitoba
& Saskatchewan

"We had hoped the Churchill Port would be able to play an important part in the development of an overseas export market," says Brent McCannell, Manitoba Forage Council's Executive Director, "but the study has proven otherwise." Athough Churchill is the closest salt water Port for the eastern Prairies and lowest freight costs when you're on water, there are many challenges with Churchill. Currently there is container traffic in the Hudson Bay region only, there are no container loading for overseas shipments, the shipping season is short (July-November) and insurance costs are quite high. With the proposed changes to the Canadian Wheat Board and the implication for Churchill there may be market opportunities to ship forages through Churchill in the future but not at the present time.


"Fortunately the study has provided us with some other suggested tactics to employ to help develop our export market," continued McCannell. "The biggest challenge to be competitive is transportation costs. We've had some discussion about further processing to densify the forage in order to lower the freight costs and be more competitive. The study also researched various freight routes and their relative costs in Canada and the northern US. The Manitoba Forage Marketers continue to explore options to competitively access expanded markets for Manitoba forages.


"The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association booth at World Dairy Expo 2012 (Madison, Wisconsin) provides just such an opportunity to increase market access in the US as well as with Overseas buyers," said Wayne Digby, CFGA Executive Director. "This Study provides valuable information for Manitoba and Saskatchewan forage exporters as they assess various transportation routes for moving product to US and overseas markets on a competitive basis."




  Consultez les chroniques  

du  Conseil québécois des plantes fourragères (CQPF)

sur le site Web de la CFGA 


  View our Quebec Forage Council

Fact Sheets on the CFGA website  

Dairy Farmers of Canada
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Wallenstein Sponsors CFGA 

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Gold Sponsors  

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Our Silver Sponsors


Nutritional Feed AdditivesWallenstein Logo
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Friends of CFGA

Steffen Systems
Farm Marketer

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Overseas Exporters $1500

U.S. Exporters $250

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CFGA AGM and Conference Highlights the
Value of Forage and Grasslands


CFGA Participants
      Despite it being the hectic Christmas season, over 100 forage and grassland enthusiasts spent two days at the CFGA conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. And a further 50 + stayed an extra day to participate in a forum on the potential impact of Roundup Ready® alfalfa (RRA) on Canada's forage industry.

    "It was a super event," says Doug Wray, Chair of CFGA, "we saw lots of enthusiasm from our speakers and I loved seeing the young chair from the Saskatchewan Forage Council, Aaron Ivey, speak! People were really engaged, especially during our workshop on the issues our industry is facing - in the workshop people were leaning forward talking and we got some great material out of that event. There was a lot of hallway groups going on during the breaks too. The value of our forage and grasslands came out loud and clear."

      "Numerous challenges and opportunities were identified at this workshop," says Jack Kyle, Chair of CFGA's Research and Extension Committee, "we are still consolidating them and then the Committees and Board will review and determine CFGA priorities and activities in the short and long term. "We really appreciated everyone's contribution to this process."

     A key area of concern noted by many speakers is the lack of research going on in the industry and the need to push for more. Trent Whiting of SeCan highlighted the declining number of public forage breeders in Canada. "In 1975 there were 14 institutions actively breeding native and tame forages, in 2011 it is down to 7 with only 4 of those being full time. And many are at or near retirement age."

Read the full story.

Next year's AGM will be in/near Toronto - Dec 11th & 12th.


Round up Ready Alfalfa Forum -
Further request for input

     The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC), in association with the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association (CFGA) has undertaken a project to
conduct an unbiased, fact-based assessment of the potential impact of Roundup Ready® alfalfa (RRA) on Canada's forage industry. As part of this project a forum was held in Saskatoon on December 15, 2011 following the CFGA Conference & Annual Meeting. The purpose of the forum was to present the interim report on the project and to solicit input from all industry stakeholders. As well, the forum served to meet the overall objective of the project to encourage dialogue related to genetically modified technologies within the forage industry.

    Sixty-one people attended the forum. Dr. Doug Yungblut, the consultant retained to produce the report, presented a summary of his interim findings. He outlined the nature and scope of the Canadian forage industry and an initial assessment of the potential impact of RRA.
     Any and all input to the project continues to be sought and is vital to the successful completion of the assessment. Comments, for inclusion in the final report, will be accepted until February 15, 2012. Contact: or 416 659-7765 or SFC at or 306-867-8126.
     The final report for this project will be available on the CFGA, SFC and other provincial forage council websites in April, 2012.

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.


CFGA organizes Fact Finding Mission to China  

   China is exploding with demand for alfalfa and has doubled its imports for each of the last 3 years, with no end in site. China is also looking at the importation of timothy and other grass forage products as their dairy production is increasing exponentially - in both herd size and herd efficiency. China has a long range plan of having one glass of milk per child per day, and to meet this objective requires quality animals, quality feed products and quality management. 

      With such great demand the CFGA has organized a fact finding mission to determine how we can become one of their key suppliers. 

     A team of producers, exporters, government and industry representatives are traveling to China this February to meet Chinese producers, industry and government representatives. According to Ed Shaw, Team Leader for the group, "we wanted to have strong representation from all sectors and I believe we have met that goal. We have representatives from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. This group represents alfalfa growers, long fibre processors, cube processors, exporters, people with dairy background and government representatives from both provincial and Agriculture and Ag Canada." Ed also noted that all participants will be representing the forage industry as a whole and will not be representing any individual companies.

     Marc Lavoie, Chair of the CFGA's Forage Export and Domestic Market Development Committee and overseas exporter (compressed hay) will also be part of this fact finding mission. "Our primary goal is to identify the obstacles that prevent the importation of our forage products into China and discuss their current restrictive protocols regarding alfalfa and future imports of timothy and other grasses. I think it will be a very worthwhile exercise for both countries and hopefully we can work together to move the process forward."

     Agenda: Touring/Meeting Representatives of: 3 to 4 of the largest Chinese Dairies, Ministry of Agriculture, Canadian Embassy and equine operation.

      A written report will be completed upon the completion of the fact finding mission and will be available to all members in good standing.


Stay tuned with our progress and sign up to receive our  

newsletters & event invitations (approximately 7 per year).



Wayne's Fodder   

Wayne Digby  

   Wow! What an exciting time to be involved in an organization like the CFGA. I want to express a big thank-you to everyone who helped in making the CFGA AGM and Conference a success. For me the Conference further reinforced the need for the CFGA as we continue to build support and highlight areas to focus on.

      The CFGA could not function without a huge contribution of in-kind help from many of you. The various CFGA Committees are coming together very well as we move forward in identifying challenges, opportunities and action needed. Take a look at the Committees on the CFGA website and make sure that your views are raised with Committee members.

      Working without a check-off, finances may always be a challenge for the organization. We are continuing to look for someone to assist in the overall coordination of CFGA fundraising. Please give this some thought - Do I See a Hand Going Up!!!

Wayne Digby, CFGA Executive Director 

CFGA Seeks Fundraiser

     Do you have a interest in contributing to the growth of the forage and grassland sector in Canada? The recent CFGA AGM added a further stamp of approval to the CFGA proposed Business Plan and the recruitment of a "Fundraising Coordinator." The CFGA is looking for someone who has a passion for forages and would enjoy working in fundraising coordination. This is a part time position with an honorarium attached to it. If you are interested or have suggestions for someone who might be interested please contact Wayne Digby, Executive Director, CFGA. p: (204) 726-9393

National Beef Value Chain Roundtable & Canadian Cattlemen's Association Workshop to  

establish future research outcomes


     The National Beef Value Chain Roundtable and CCA are organizing a Consultation Workshop for Calgary on March 14, 2012. The main purpose will be to provide input into a national beef research strategy focused on:

  • Defining national short, medium, and long-term beef industry research outcomes to meet industry needs, and
  • Facilitating the alignment and coordination across major government and industry research funders to ensure that research funding allocations adequately address industry research priorities.

     At this Consultation one of the key focus areas will be Feed, Forage and Grassland Productivity.

     The CFGA is a member of the National Beef Value Chain Roundtable and we want to make sure that the Forage and Grassland Sector has good input into this Consultation process.  We know that many of your Provincial Organizations have developed forage and grassland research and extension priorities and we want to ensure that these priorities are fed into these consultations. The CFGA office and Doug Wray are working to co-ordinate this input. If you have not received correspondence and want to make input - please contact us.

CFGA Addresses Forage Transportation Issues


    Container vesselThe cost of transportation and other logistical barriers such as the lack of containers is a huge issue for the forage and grassland sector in Canada. Recently the CFGA Executive appointed Ed Shaw, Forage Exporter from Alberta, to be our representative in providing input to the Ag Industry Service Level Agreement (SLA) Sub-Committee. This Sub-Committee is working hard in analyzing these issues and putting forward recommendations to address them. To learn more and provide input contact Ed Shaw at


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Quebec flag

  Consultez les chroniques du 

 Conseil québécois des plantes fourragères (CQPF)

sur le site Web de la CFGA 


  View our Quebec Forage Council

chronicles on the CFGA website  


Overseas Forage Exports - Manitoba Forage Council evaluates opportunities for Manitoba and Saskatchewan Forage Industry

     "The growing interest in hay imports from countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan and China is a welcome development," says Manitoba Forage Marketer, Darren Chapman, "But only if we can get it there in a cost effective manner."

      Chapman is one of a group of Manitoba hay producers who banded together to promote their Manitoba hay via website (, the World Dairy Expo and other communication pieces. The group primarily sells to the U.S. but knows there are opportunities abroad if shipping prices were more reasonable. This line of reasoning catalyzed the research study.


Forage Export and Domestic Market Development Committee Appoints New Representatives  

to CFGA Board"     



     Marc Lavoie of Mackay Enterprises will Chair the CFGA Forage Export and Domestic Market Development Committee and also represent the Overseas Exporters on the CFGA Board. Marc is a producer, and owner of Enterprises Macay Inc. in the Peace River, Alberta. Marc ships double compacted hay into Japan.

     Darren Chapman of Virden, Manitoba will be representiChapman Familyng the U.S. Exporters on the CFGA Board of Directrs. Darren and his family own a Century farm and ship hay to the U.S.
     See the Board of Directors,
the Committees and the mandates on our website. 

 Back to top  

Seed of the Year Award -  Recipient - the late Dr. Bob Knowles. Dr. Bruce Coulman (right) accepts award on behalf of Dr. Knowles. Trent Whiting of SeCan presenting.

Dr. Bruce Coulman - University of Saskatchewan Forage Breeder  


     We were very pleased to have Dr. Coulman accept the Seed of the Year Award on behalf of the late Dr. Bob Knowles at the CFGA Conference this year. Dr. Coulman worked as a summer student on Knowles' grass breeding team and later carried out his M.Sc. research under Knowles' supervision. Coulman took over forage breeding at AAFC Saskatoon in 1993, however, he and Knowles continued to work together until the latter's death in 1997, collaborating in the work that led to the release of Newkirk crested wheatgrass in 2011.  "He was very much my mentor and I consider him to be a major influence on the success that I have had as forage crops breeder."

     Dr. Coulman is currently the Professor and Head of the Plant Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to this he was Acting National Science Director at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where he was responsible for 80 research scientists at 18  research centres across Canada. Dr. Coulman has held several other positions at AAFC and McGill University since receiving his Ph. D. in 1976.

     Coulman's research has centered on forage crop breeding and genetics, forage crop management and physiology, and forage and turf seed production management. Twenty of the cultivars he has worked on have been released for commercialization by Canadian seed companies. These cool season forage grasses and legumes include AC Grazeland bloat reduced alfalfa and the first hybrid bromegrass cultivars, AC Knowles and AC Success,  developed from crosses between smooth and meadow bromegrass (original crosses made by Dr. Bob Knowles).

      Dr. Coulman has also participated in various projects internationally - Egypt, Zambia, China and most recently with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Africa.

New 2 Row Forage Barley Variety Released   


      Brian Rossnagel, Aaron Beattie and Bruce Coulman, University of Saskatchewan have just registered a 2 row forage barley variety named CDC Maverick.
     CDC Maverick is essentially a smooth awned version of CDC Cowboy. Like CDC Cowboy it demonstrates high biomass yield and in Co-op testing out-yielded all checks and other entries by some 10+% in terms of forage dry matter.  Forage quality is similar to CDC Cowboy with the exception of course that CDC Maverick has smooth awns while CDC Cowboy has rough awns.
     Pedigreed seed increase and marketing will be handled by SeCan. CDC Maverick was tested in the Western Forage Barley Coop trials as FB205 and in CDC Trials as SB060176.
     If you know of other varieties or other important information be sure to share it with us and with Ken Ziegler of at is the place to find any and all Canadian forage info. 


David Wiens

Meet CFGA Director David Wiens, Producer / Vice-President of  
Dairy Farmers of Canada


     David Wiens was raised on a dairy farm near Grunthal, Manitoba. In 1989, he and his brother Charles joined their father in a formal ownership agreement. David and Charles operate Skyline Dairy with two full-time employees and three part-time employees.
     Skyline Dairy has a herd size of approximately 275 cows. In 2008, a new dairy barn with a voluntary milking system was built. David and Charles also farm approximately 1,800 acres of cropland, both for animal feed and cash crops. The crops include alfalfa, corn, canola, wheat, and oats.
     David was first elected to the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) board in the fall of 1995 and was elected DFM Chair in December 2006. He was Chair of Dairy Farmers of Canada's Promotion Committee from 2002 to 2005. In July 2011, he was elected to the Executive Committee of Dairy Farmers of Canada.
     Since 2000, David has sat on the Ste. Anne Co-op Oil board of directors. In 2009, he was appointed as a director on the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council.
     David has a Bachelor of Theology from the Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now the Canadian Mennonite University). He is married to Denise and they have two daughters, Jasmine and Lizzie. David is involved with his local church and community. He enjoys sports, especially hunting, cross country skiing, and hockey.

     "I am looking forward to working with the CFGA," says David. "There is definitely a mutual benefit in teaming up and making a joint effort in terms of enhancing the forage sector through research and and coordination. This will be a benefit to our dairy producers who for the most part are also forage producers."  


Nutritional Feed Additives Nutritional Feed Additives Inc.  


Proud Silver Sponsors of the Canadian Forage
and Grassland Association


     In 1987 Alun Baker saw the need to introduce quality, innovative and cost effective ingredients to the Canadian feed industry. Starting with probiotics, yeasts and palm oil fats, these and many other products are now being used extensively across Canada.  

    Weather being unpredictable and hay quality being so reliant on the weather; it was fifteen years ago Nutritional Feed Additives went looking for a reliable preservative product for Baled Hay.  They contacted Harvest Tec Inc, from Hudson, Wisconsin, USA and discovered Harvest Tec also had designed, engineered and manufactured applicators for all sizes and makes of balers to apply the hay preservative. An exclusive agreement was set up to represent the manufacturer in all of Canada. After guiding the process of registration with CFIA, the product was introduced to all implement dealers carrying the AGCO, Case, John Deere and New Holland brand.

     The strategy for marketing this hay preservative through dealers selling and servicing hay equipment is based on the knowhow and close connection these dealers have with farmers as they harvest hay. As such this marketing effort has led to the Harvest Tec preservative becoming the leading product in all of North America.

     In their efforts to support the hay preservative business, Nutritional Feed Additives has a full stock of preservative available for immediate shipments from points in Ontario and Western Canada with dealers from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia.

     Their sales staff supports the dealers' retail efforts by holding management clinics on preservative use and baling proficiency.  They attend regional dealer training meetings and back-up the implement companies efforts at regional trade shows.  Nutritional Feed Additives has worked its way into a position of prominence in the Canadian preservative business.  Farmers get the full support of a knowledgeable team consisting of their equipment dealer backed up by a specialty team from Nutritional Feeds.

     Nutritional Feed Additives Inc and Harvest Tec Inc would like to take this opportunity to thank the directors and staff of CFGA for forming this organization to support the farmers and the many other members of the agricultural industry in their efforts to communicate and export to the world.

     If you would like further information on Nutritional Feed Additives do not hesitate to contact our office at (800) 565 5809 or (519) 843 4041.


Range ManagementJoin the Society for Range Management


    The prairie landscape would not be quite the same without those characteristic tracts of pasture and grassland stretching across the horizon. Although, over 75% of the prairies in Canada have been cultivated, tame and native pastures keep playing an important role in Manitoba's economy.  Livestock producers, hay producers and hobby naturalists have their own set of good reasons why sustainable use and management of rangeland ecosystems are important. If you are in any form involved with range or pasture management, the local chapter of the Society for Range Management may have something to offer to you. Read more about the Society for Range Management